New ministers yet to get portfolios; Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa says soon | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Five days after they were sworn in, the seven new ministers in BS Yediyurappa’s cabinet have still not been assigned portfolios. Yediyurappa has indicated that he might allocate portfolios on Wednesday after holding consultations with senior ministers.
“I am going to Udupi today (Monday) and will return on Tuesday evening. After that, I will speak to senior cabinet colleagues and allocate portfolios,” he said.
Two senior BJP functionaries said that there was pressure on the chief minister to ensure key portfolios went to the right people and this was probably delaying the exercise. Union home minister Amit Shah’s two-day visit to Karnataka also affected the timeline. Shah reportedly asked Yediyurappa to not give opposition parties a chance to tarnish BJP’s image after the cabinet expansion.
On January 13, Yediyurappa inducted legislators Umesh Katti, Aravind Limbavali, MTB Nagaraj, CP Yogeshwar, R Shankar, S Nagara and Murugesh Nirani into his cabinet. Energy and Bengaluru development are among the most coveted portfolios, with even some senior ministers lobbying for them. “Their strategy is: ‘If I don’t get it, no one should get it,” alleged a new inductee.
According to BJP functionaries, Yediyurappa is considering reshuffling responsibilities of senior ministers such as Basavaraj Bommai, who currently heads the home department, and R Ashoka, who is in charge of revenue. Ashoka reportedly wants to become the Bengaluru development minister ahead of the BBMP elections. Deputy chief minister CN Ashwath Narayan and Limbavali are also contenders for this portfolio.
Industries minister Jagadish Shettar may get a new role as Nirani has sought his department, the BJP functionaries said. Nirani was the industries minister from 2008 to 2013.
Meanwhile, a number of BJP MLAs, who didn’t get a cabinet look-in, are expected to meet in a day or two to decide their next steps despite Shah’s warning against dissidence. MP Renukacharya, the chief minister’s political secretary, is among the MLAs trying to organise a meeting. “We have been contacting like-minded MLAs and will soon hold a meeting to chart our next course of action, which includes approaching national BJP president JP Nadda. A clear picture will emerge in a day or two,” said an MLA from Kalyana Karnataka region. The group is trying to enlist the support of at least 20 MLAs.

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Sagar Biswas

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