Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, whose government now has a clear majority in the Assembly, is considering induction of two more deputy chief ministers to go with the three existing ones or doing away with the post of deputy CMs, sources in the government indicated.
Yediyurappa is expected to travel to New Delhi to meet BJP president Amit Shah next week after the Jharkhand polls to discuss expansion of his cabinet, which now has only 17 ministers for 34 available posts.
The CM is looking at inducting 11 rebel MLAs from Opposition parties — who are among 12 BJP winners of the December 5 bypolls for 15 seats — into his cabinet as well as two rebels who lost the polls (by making them MLCs) to keep promises made to 17 rebels when they defected from the Congress and JDS to help the BJP come to power.
“There is a proposal to induct two more deputy CMs,” sources in the government said. Yediyurappa in recent media comments, however, claimed that the matter had not been discussed yet.
“I will not be going to Delhi immediately, but whenever the national president calls me I will go. I will discuss with him and decide on the cabinet expansion. He is now busy with Parliament and elections,” the CM said on Thursday.
Among Yediyurappa’s key considerations is inducting two senior leaders including a new entrant like Ramesh Jarkiholi as deputy CM to add to the deputy CM posts given to Lakshman Savadi, Govind Karjol and C N Ashwathnarayan.
In a sign that there is some churn in the BJP over appointment of deputy CMs, a senior BJP leader on Thursday questioned the rationale for the move. “One CM is enough. Why are deputy CMs being appointed when there is no recognition for that post under the Constitution?” BJP MLA Basavaraj Patil Yatnal said. “The CM is capable on his own. Other ministers can work under him,” the former Union minister said
According to government sources, Yediyurappa could seek more deputy CMs or scrapping of all the posts. “If a large number of deputy CMs are appointed, then the position loses its value,” sources said.
One of the biggest tasks for the resurgent Yediyurappa is accommodating all rebels who helped the party topple the Congress-JDS coalition government while also pleasing BJP veterans like Umesh Katti, Balachandra Jarkiholi and Yatnal who are keen to be in the expanded ministry.
Yediyurappa has indicated that the BJP will keep its promise of making all rebels ministers — including the two rebels M T B Nagaraj and A H Vishwanath, who lost the bypolls recently. “I assured all those who resigned and came out (of the Congress and JDS) that they will be made ministers. It is our responsibility to do as promised,” Yediyurappa said two days ago.
The CM also faces a challenge in balancing caste equations in his cabinet, which is now heavy loaded with ministers from his own Lingayat community.Bill to include certain tribal communities gets Rajya Sabha nod
New Delhi: A Bill to include certain tribal communities in Karnataka into ST category was passed in Rajya Sabha on Thursday. The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed with voice vote. The Bill seeks to include Parivara and Talawara tribal communities in ST category to ensure they get benefits. —ENS