During his speech on July 6, ahead of tendering his resignation as the Chief Minister, HD Kumaraswamy had said in the assembly that trouble would mar the future BJP government too. Kumaraswamyâ€™s prediction seems to be coming true as a few senior BJP leaders are unhappy about being left out of the cabinet.
On August 20, 17 BJP leaders took oath as ministers after a list was approved by the high command in New Delhi. Several MLAs including Arvind Limbavalli, Renukacharya, Balachandra Jarkiholi and veteran leader Umesh Katti were not given ministerial berths.
On Thursday, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and eight disgruntled MLAs flew to New Delhi to convince the high command that the senior leaders and those instrumental in bringing down the coalition government must be rewarded.
â€śRenukacharya, Balachandra Jarkiholi, Arvind Limbavalli were the ones who held talks with Congress and JD(S) MLAs and convinced them to resign. Now, the high command has inducted Laxman Savadi, who is not even an MLA, into the cabinet. The rebels are now scared that they will be left in lurch,â€ť a source in the BJP said.
The Belagavi angle
The BJP has ten MLAs in Belagavi district and the party is largely divided into factions, one headed by Laxman Savadi and the other by Umesh Katti. Savadi lost to Congress leader Mahesh Kumatahalli from Athani constituency in Belagavi during the Assembly elections in 2018. But despite this, Savadi was made a minister, on the insistence of BL Santosh, BJP's National General Secretary. According to sources, BS Yediyurappa wanted either Umesh Katti or Ramesh Katti to be accommodated in the cabinet, but other than Savadi, the only other MLA who made the cut from Belagavi was MLA Shashikala Annasaheb Jolle, who is also from the Savadi faction.
This has left Umesh Katti and supporters fuming and they are demanding a ministerial berth.
The impatient rebel MLAs
Seventeen rebels from the JD(S) and Congress, who were disqualified are now putting pressure on Yediyurappa. Many believe that if a senior member like Umesh Katti who has won from the district eight times has not been accommodated in the cabinet, the BJP will not give them places either. The rebels had resigned on the promise that they would be offered ministerial portfolios.
In addition, there is also speculation that the BJP will find a replacement for Yediyurappa in the beginning of 2020. "With Yediyurappa losing control of the position of power he earlier enjoyed, there is disillusionment among those who have been sidelined, mostly his followers and close associates,â€ť the source added.
Yediyurappa is slated to hold talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national working President JP Nadda on Friday to discuss the issues raised by state leaders and also finalise the issue of allocating portfolios to the ministers.