Amid simmering discontent post his cabinet expansion, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday asked such sulking BJP leaders to take up the matter with the national leadership and urged them to refrain from making any remarks affecting the party.
The chief minister had expanded his cabinet on Wednesday after much deliberations and the exercise already saw some aspirants who could not make it publicly air their displeasure.
“If the BJP MLAs have any objection they can go to Delhi, meet our national leaders and give them all the information and complaints they have. I won’t object to that but I ask them not to damage the party’s reputation by talking ill,” Yediyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru.
Noting that the central leaders will take a call on their complaints, he said the seniors in the party are aware of the facts.
Later, speaking to reporters in Davangere, he insisted he could do what was within his limits, on the matter and warned those speaking ill about him.
Yediyurappa, however, did not respond to queries on the non-induction of Rajarajeshwari Nagar MLA Munirathna, a former Congress man who joined the saffron party, despite the former’s promise to induct him in his council of ministers.
Yediyurappa on Wednesday expanded his 17-month-old government by inducting seven new Ministers and dropping Excise Minister H Nagesh.
The other aspirants– Basanagouda Patil, M P Renukacharya, Sathish Reddy, Thippa Reddy, S A Ramadass and A H Vishwanath, who could not make it have been quite vocal in expressing their displeasure.
Yatnal in particular has been critical of the chief minister and even alleged his family of ‘hijacking’ the party. He had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end dynastyic politics from Yediyurappa’s family in Karnataka, which has a chief minister, an MP (B Y Raghavendra) and a BJP state vice president (B Y Vijayendra).
“The CM has made those who are blackmailing him as Ministers. Three people- one political secretary and two Ministers have been blackmailing with some of Yediyurappa’s CDs for three months. One who is becoming Minister today along with CD blackmail was also involved in payment of money to Vijayendra (CM’s son),” Yatnal had said.
Vishwanath on Thursday called upon people to discuss the ‘Son Stroke’, a jibe seen as targeting the chief minister’s family. “Let the discussion start from Raichur. The topic is Son Stroke. I hope you understand it,” Vishwanath said in an apparent reference to Yediyurappa allegdly giving prominence to his children and family members in the party.
He said the Janata family was decimated in the 1990s due to ‘son stroke’, whether it be Ramakrishna Hegde, S Bangarappa, J H Patil or H D Deve Gowda, apparently referring to family politics involving these leaders.
“Now the same son stroke is hitting the BJP. If that continues in the state there will be son stroke in Karnataka,” Vishwanath said.
He had earlier switched over from the JD(S) to BJP and resigned from the Assembly in 2019 leading to the toppling of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, headed by H D Kumaraswamy.
The dissenting MLAs were upset that region wise, Bengaluru and Belagavi got more prominence in the cabinet.
In terms of caste equation, the Veerashaiva-Lingayat and Vokkaliga legislators got more representation.