Cabinet expansion: Jarkiholi happy, but colleague sore

Bengaluru: Four days after the cabinet expansion, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday allocated portfolios to the 10 newly inducted ministers including Ramesh Jarkiholi, who got the plum portfolio of major and medium irrigation which he was eyeing.

The Chief Minister retained the Department of Public Administration, Bengaluru Development, Intelligence Department, Finance and portfolios not allocated.

According to a government press release, Anand Singh got food, civil supplies and consumers affairs portfolio, Srimant Patil was given textile while K Gopalaiah has been assigned small scale industries.

Byrathi Basavaraj secured the Urban Development Department barring Bengaluru-related civic affairs while S T Somashekhar was given the charge of the cooperation department.

The BJP government assigned forest department to B C Patil, medical education to Dr K Sudhakar, municipal administration was given to K C Narayana Gowda and labour department to A Shivaram Hebbar.

The ten BJP MLAs, all defectors from the Congress and JDS, were inducted as ministers last Thursday, with the Chief Minister rewarding them with Cabinet berths for helping the BJP bring down the Congress-JD(S)coalition and come to power in July last year.

“Neither have I asked him nor as he enquired with me (regarding portfolio allocation). I had told him that whatever portfolio he gives me I will perform my duty sincerely. I got the cooperation department, which is an area I have some experience,” Somashekhar said.

Byrathi Basavaraj said had had not exerted pressure demanding any portfolio.

Meanwhile, discontentment started brewing with BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil raising the issue of addressing the regional balance in the cabinet.

“The sentiments of the MLAs should be taken care of. Many MLAs have spoken to me on various issues highlighting the regional balance in the portfolio for the development of their region,” he said.

Two other BJP MLAs–Umesh Katti and Mahesh Kumathalli– once again made a pitch for cabinet berth.

Katti said he has always been an eligible candidate for a ministerial post.

Kumathalli once again reminded Yediyurappa of his promise to make him a minister when the bypolls were taking place in December last year.



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