Sources in the BJP say that the newly elected legislators have already put in requests to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, for the ministerial portfolios of their choice.

news Politics Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 14:04

The political drama in Karnataka, which began with the rebellion of Congress and JD(S) leaders, finally ended on Monday after 11 rebel leaders won the bye-election. With their long-drawn wait to become ministers coming to an end, sources in the BJP say that the newly elected legislators have already put in requests to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, for the ministerial portfolios of their choice. 

Ramesh Jarkiholi, who spearheaded the rebellion in the coalition government, is said to have his eyes on the coveted Water Resource Ministry. 

BJP insiders say that Ramesh Jarkiholi has requested that he be given the portfolio that Congress leader DK Shivakumar held during the coalition’s rule. "This is Ramesh Jarkiholi's way of besting DK Shivakumar. He has specifically asked for Water Resources portfolio if he cannot be made the Deputy Chief Minister (DCM),” the source said. 

Ramesh Jarkiholi is believed to have aspired for the Deputy Chief Minister's chair as he was the lynchpin in the fiasco that brought down the Congress-JD(S) coalition. However, the party has already appointed three DCMs, rendering no vacancy for the post. 

Meanwhile, another one of DK Shivakumar's detractors, Dr K Sudhakar, the MLA from Chikkaballapura, is believed to have asked for the Medical Education portfolio. The Yediyurappa government scrapped the plan to construct a medical college in Kanakpura, Shivakumar's constituency, in August this year. Soon after, funds were sanctioned for the construction of a medical college in Chikkaballapura. This led to a major contention between DK Shivakumar and Sudhakar. Sudhakar had vowed to get a medical college constructed in his constituency. 

"Sudhakar's family runs educational institutions. The medical college portfolio will be to his benefit," the BJP source added. 

BJP insiders say that KR Puram MLA Byrathi Basavaraj has asked for another coveted portfolio, the Bengaluru Development Ministry. Party insiders claim that both ST Somashekar, the MLA from Yeshwanthpur, and Basavaraj want the same portfolio, which is currently held by CM Yediyurappa. However, sources say that Somashekar is likely to get the Cooperation Ministry. 

Meanwhile, Mahesh Kumatahalli, MLA from Athani, is aspiring to bag the Small and Medium Scale Industries portfolio, while Vijayanagara MLA Anand Singh has asked for the Ministry of Environment and Forests. BJP insiders say that Anand Singh has also demanded that Vijayanagara be made a separate district and that he must be made the minister in charge of this new district. 

BJP sources said that BC Patil has asked for the Horticulture portfolio, Srimanth Patil the Sugar ministry, and KR Pete MLA has asked for the Agriculture portfolio. 

"Yediyurappa will take their demands to the high command and ultimately, it's up to the national leaders to decide. We will discuss giving MLC posts to those who did not win as well," the source said.