BS Yediyurappa’s new headache: Picking district ministers | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: After inducting seven new members into his cabinet recently, chief minister BS Yediyurappa faces the tricky task of appointing district in-charge ministers.
He had a tough time allocating and reassigning portfolios, with several ministers expressing disappointment over the changes. Some of these ministers now want to be compensated with the district responsibilities.
When Yediyurappa appointed district in-charge ministers the last time, in April 2020, there were 27 members in his cabinet, whose total strength is 34. It was relatively easy for him to shortlist candidates for 30 districts. Now, there are 33 members in the cabinet, with seniors and new entrants demanding charge of important districts.
Yediyurappa is in charge of Bengaluru Urban, while Govind Karjol, Basavaraj Bommai and Prabhu Chavan oversee two districts each. Currently, there are two vacancies as CT Ravi (Chikkamagaluru) and H Nagesh (Kolar) have resigned from the cabinet for different reasons. BJP insiders said that Yediyurappa might hand over Bengaluru Urban to revenue minister R Ashoka as part of the BJP strategy for the upcoming BBMP polls.
If this plan materialises, Yediyurappa may put municipal administration minister MTB Nagaraj in charge of Bengaluru Rural, which is currently managed by Ashoka. Aravind Limbavali could get the responsibility of Kolar district.
But all of this won’t be easy as there are several contenders for Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts. They include CN Ashwath Narayan, V Somanna, ST Somashekar and Limbavali. Narayan currently oversees Ramanagara district.
The BJP insiders said that the chief minister might be forced to move him to another region to make way for newly appointed minor irrigation minister CP Yogeshwar, who hails from Ramanagara. This, they added, would enable Yogeshwar, a Vokkaliga, to take on opposition leaders DK Shivakumar and HD Kumaraswamy, who represent constituencies in the district.
There is speculation that alternatively, Yogeshwar could be given charge of Mysuru district as BJP wants to keep the actorturned-politician in the limelight to expand its footprint in the old Mysuru region. But there are already reports of discord in BJP over the proposed changes and some ministers have registered their protest.
It’s not clear if senior legislators Umesh V Katti and Murgesh R Nirani will get a district role as only Yadgir doesn’t have a dedicated minister. Prabhu Chavan, who is in charge of Bidar district, oversees Yadgir as an additional task. Katti and Nirani are eyeing their home districts of Belagavi and Bagalkot, respectively, but Yediyurappa may not take the risk of replacing Ramesh Jarkiholi and Govind Karjol here. A BJP functionary said that the party might consider giving Vijayapura, currently handled by lone woman minister Shashikala Jolle, to Nirani or Katti to counter MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, an ardent critic of Yediyurappa.
S Angara may be appointed as the district in-charge minister of Udupi, which is currently held by Bommai in addition to Haveri.

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Sagar Biswas

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