Karnataka: BJP is silent on cabinet berth for N Munirathna | Bengaluru News

by karwar


BENGALURU: Will chief minister BS Yediyurappa promise a cabinet spot to N Munirathna, the former Congress politician who is contesting the RR Nagar bypoll on a BJP ticket? That’s the question doing the rounds as election campaigns intensify.
In the run-up to the 15 assembly bypolls last December, Yediyurappa declared on the campaign trail that he would give cabinet roles to former Congress-JD(S) politicians, who were contesting on BJP tickets after switching sides. Later, he appointed 10 as ministers in his team. Two more are waiting for the call.
Munirathna is hoping that Yediyurappa will make a similar announcement before voters in RR Nagar, boosting his chances. But BJP insiders said poll managers had voted down the idea as Yediyurappa might not be able to fulfil such a promise this time. Yediyurappa has little room for manoeuvre as many BJP MLAs are eyeing a ministerial role. There is reportedly strong discontent in the party over the issue.
Horticulture minister KC Narayana Gowda, who held a road show in RR Nagar on Tuesday, highlighted Munirathna’s role in helping Yediyurappa become the chief minister for the fourth time and said he would earn a cabinet berth. BJP poll managers then reportedly rebuked Gowda, asking him not to make such statements. The issue was apparently discussed at a party meeting in the evening, when ward-wise responsibilities were distributed among city MLAs and ministers. Everyone was advised against making comments on possible open spots in the cabinet.
“Three defectors have been waiting for months to become ministers after getting nominated to the legislative council. In such a situation, it’s absurd to talk about the possibility of Munirthna getting a berth. Voters will not believe it,” said a senior BJP functionary, who attended the meeting.
Munirathna’s supporters are aware that Yediyurappa is not in a position to persuade the BJP high command over the issue as it has already granted his wish to field Munirathna.
The issue of regional balance also works against Munirathna. Bengaluru Urban district accounts for the largest share of cabinet berths. Seven legislators from the city are ministers and inducting more will create upset BJP loyalists from other districts.



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