More than three weeks after BS Yediyurappa took oath as the Chief Minster of Karnataka, he has finally announced the names of leaders who are slated to be inducted into the cabinet. Yediyurappa, who met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on August 17, finalised a list of 17 BJP leaders, including legislators and councilmen, who are to be inducted into the cabinet at 10.30 am on Tuesday at Raj Bhavan.
The BJP has given a huge preference to Lingayat leaders this time around with seven out of 17 berths going to members of this community, including MLAs Laxman Savadi (Athani), Jagadish Shettar (Hubballi-Dharwad Central), V Somanna (Vijaynagar), Basavaraj Bommai (Shiggaon), Madhuswamy (Chikkanayakanahalli), Chandrakantgouda Chadrappagouda Patil (Nargund) and Sashikala Jolle (Nippani).
The BJP has inducted two leaders from the Dalit community including Aurad MLA Prabhu Chauhan and Govind Karjol from Mudhol assembly segment. B Sriramulu (Molakalmuru) has been chosen as the leader from the Valmiki Nayak community, KS Eshwarappa, MLA from Shivamogga, represents the Kuruba community, the same as former CM Siddaramaiah.
Padmanabhanagar MLA R Ashoka and Chikkamagaluru MLA CT Ravi have been chosen as the Vokkaliga candidates, while Rajajinagar MLA Suresh Kumar represents the Brahmin community. Independent candidate H Nagesh from Mulbagal, who shifted allegiances ahead of the trust vote in July this year, has also been given a cabinet berth. MLC Kota Srinivas Poojary, who is from the Billava community, has also been given a cabinet berth.
In addition, the party leaders are waiting to see the fate of the 16 disqualified MLAs belong to the JD(S) and Congress, as Yediyurappa and other BJP leaders had promised 12 of them ministries in order for them to rebel against their own parties. "Preference has been given to leaders in north Karnataka as that forms the BJP's major vote bank. In addition, Lingayat leaders have been given preference for the first round of cabinet expansion. Once the rebels make a decision on whether they will join BJP or not, then we will expand the cabinet after the bye-elections are over. Once bye-polls are over, the rebels from south Karnataka will also be given cabinet berths," a BJP source said.