Bommai reaches out to Ministers unhappy with their portfolios


Team Udayavani, Aug 9, 2021, 7:57 AM IST

As discontent brews among a section of ministers a day after the allocation of portfolios, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai on Sunday said he has spoken to them on the issue.

Days after Bommai carried out the Cabinet expansion, the portfolios were allotted on Saturday.

While many ministers retained their portfolios, which they held in the previous B S Yediyurappa government, some new entrants secured the weighty ones — Araga Jnanendra got Home Department and V Sunil Kumar Energy, Kannada and Culture.

However, the portfolio allocation did not please Environment, Ecology and Tourism Minister Anand Singh and Municipal Administration Minister N Nagaraj (MTB).

Both the ministers, who had joined BJP in 2019 after quitting the Congress, called on Bommai and expressed their dissatisfaction.

Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of a function, Bommai said, ”I have spoken to him (Anand Singh) and he too has expressed his views.

I have told him that I am aware of his sentiments. I will make every effort in a manner to retain his honour. He too agreed with it.” The Chief Minister said he has also spoken to Nagaraj.

On these ministers claiming that he and Yediyurappa did not keep their promise, Bommai said ”this is not a matter of discussion,” Singh and Nagaraj have been insisting that they should be given a ”better” portfolio.

After calling on Bommai, Nagaraj told reporters that he would continue with the same portfolio for the time being.

However, he said he had aspired for a ”better” portfolio such as public works department, rural development and transport.

Anand Singh too said he would not speak before the media on these issues and explained to the CM about it.

Sources in the BJP acknowledged that some senior MLAs, who have been ”part of the BJP since the beginning”, were upset with the cabinet expansion as they were left out and the ‘outsiders’ got the preference.

The term ‘outsiders’ within the BJP circle refers to those Congress and the JD(S) MLAs who quit their party in 2019 and joined BJP.

They were disqualified from the assembly, contested the assembly bypolls and got elected on the BJP ticket.

”A majority of the ‘outsiders’ got the ministerial position while some of those who have been serving the party for decades were left out”, a BJP leader said.

Some of the senior BJP legislators who were in contention for ministerial berths were: Bommanahalli MLA M Satish Reddy, Yelahanka MLA S R Vishwanath, Bengaluru South MLA M Krishnappa, Krishnaraja MLA S A Ramadas, Hubli-Dharwad west MLA Arvind Bellad and Vijayapura MLA Basanagouda Patil Yanal.

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