Though making all rebel MLAs ministers has left many in BJP disgruntled, Yediyurappa camp says the government will be stable.

news Politics Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 17:25

From being labelled a two-day Chief Minister to dealing with internal power struggles and then ensuring a resounding victory in bye-elections, BS Yediyurappa has come a full circle. 

BSY, as he is popularly known, had to take on several disgruntled leaders within his own party to give tickets to turncoats from the Congress and JD(S), and also promise them all ministerial berths. But Yediyurappa has a tough task ahead of him – to quell infighting and to keep the rebels happy at the same time. With 11 newly elected MLAs to be accommodated in the cabinet, several senior leaders and former ministers are likely to lose an opportunity.

Seventeen rebels had resigned to bring down the Congress-JD(S) coalition and their condition to the high command before quitting was just this -- that Yediyurappa remain the Chief Minister and leader of the party in the state. In return, he would make them part of his cabinet. This mutually beneficial agreement to help each other retain power is working for Yediyurappa, sources say. 

However, several seniors like Mahadevapura MLA Arvind Limbavalli, MLA from Honnali Renukacharya and MLA from Hukkeri, Umesh Katti will have to remain out of the cabinet and sources say that they are not happy about the outcome.

“There has been a faction within the BJP with leaders like Jagadish Shettar and KS Eshwarappa, who have been trying to usurp power and replace Yediyurappa as the BJP’s face in the state. Yediyurappa has consolidated more support from the high command after ensuring this victory. But his detractors aren’t happy,” a BJP leader told TNM.

Although, the government seems stable for now, if Yediyurappa fails to maintain the peace within the party’s state unit, insiders say that there may be a repeat of 2011, where an internal power struggle had proverbially divided the BJP into two. Yediyurappa had backed Sadananda Gowda as the Chief Ministerial candidate after he was forced to step down due to the fallout of the Ballari mining scam in 2011. Sixty-five of the BJP’s MLAs were taken to resorts and Yediyurappa had prevailed. The national leaders had to pick Sadananda Gowda as the CM. The faction backing Jagadish Shettar had failed. 

However, a BJP source from the Yediyurappa camp says that any move against the CM would only backfire and therefore they don’t anticipate any trouble for at least a year.