Updated: August 5, 2021 6:53:09 pm
The Vokkaliga-dominated districts in Karnataka’s Old Mysuru region have — yet again — found no representation in Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s ministry that was formed on Wednesday.
The old Mysuru region in South Karnataka consists of areas that were part of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore — Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Tumkur, Hassan, Chikmagalur, Kolar, Bengaluru and excludes coastal areas and Kodagu.
The BJP has been trying to expand its footprint in the Vokkaliga bastions for many years now, but the cabinet has no representative from the region except for Mandya.
K R Pet MLA K C Narayana Gowda has ensured representation to Mandya district in the cabinet. Apart from Bengaluru, there isn’t any BJP presence in the cabinet.
The old Mysuru region did not have representation in the Yediyurappa cabinet too for the past two years.
Sources in BJP told Indianexpress.com that the poor representation in the BJP government from the old Mysuru region is because of the compulsion to accommodate turncoat MLAs from the Congress and the JD(S) in 2019 who helped the saffron party to come to power.
“BJP wants to get into the old Mysuru region by giving more representation to the people in the party and the government, but the present situation is such that the BJP has come to power with the help of 16 rebel MLAs who joined the party. So the senior leaders had to be accommodated because of which the old Mysuru region has been sidelined,” a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.
The saffron party has three MLAs in the Mysuru district — S A Ramdas representing Krishnaraja Assembly constituency, L Nagendra from Chamarajanagar, and Harshavardhan from the Nanjangud constituency. While Niranjan Kumar represents Gundlupet in Chamarajanagar district, Preetham Gowda is the only BJP MLA representing the Hassan district. All these districts have, however, been neglected in the cabinet. The Mysuru region is dominated by the JDS and Congress.
Ramdas, also a former minister, who was among the aspirants for a berth in the Basavaraj Bommai Council of Ministers, has expressed his disappointment for not been included in the cabinet. In a tweet that is being seen as laced with sarcasm, he said: “Congrats to the new Ministers, who have built, developed the party and get qualified to the post. I hope and believe you strive in making Karnataka no. 1 state in the country. May Maa Chamundeshwari bless you all.”
Meanwhile, Kodagu district is close to the old Mysuru region and is a strong fortress of the BJP, but legislators from the district have not been given a place in the cabinet since decades.
Kodagu has two BJP MLAs and one MLC. Madikeri MLA M P Appachu Ranjan and Virajpet MLA KG Bopaiah are said to be disappointed yet again. Speaking to Indianexpress.com, a BJP leader from Kodagu said, “The district, once a separate state and now under Karnataka, has not got enough representation in the state government. The BJP has won both assembly and Lok Sabha seats from Kodagu, but the party is ignoring the district. In 2008, for just 8 months, Appachu Ranjan was a minister in the cabinet after whoch there was no representation.”
“At least one MLA from Kodagu has been made minister since the district is facing floods and landslides every year and problems such as man-animal conflict, and various issues of coffee growers in the district,” a BJP leader added.
Apart from these districts, there is no representation in the ministry for districts like Vijayapura, Davangere and Ballari, where the party has a strong base, The other districts that lack representation are Ramanagaram, Kolar, in South Karnataka, and Kalaburagi, Raichur, and Yadgir in North Karnataka.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru has got seven ministers and six other districts, including Belagavi and Shivamogga, having two ministers each.
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