As a few MLAs have been unhappy with the cabinet expansion in the Karnataka assembly, Chief Minister of the state BS Yediyurappa is likely to expand his cabinet again, say sources. Many leaders like Araga Jnanendra, Umesh Katti, CP Yogeshwar, Raju Gowda and MP Renukacharya were reportedly upset with the cabinet expansion. This comes as many MLAs had won the by-polls on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket in December last year after switching loyalties from the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) and Congress.
On February 6,10 MLAs including Ramesh Jarkiholi, Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, and BA Basavaraja took oath as cabinet ministers at Raj Bhawan in Bengaluru in the presence of Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Vala and the Chief Minister Yediyurappa. The 10 MLAs who took oath as the cabinet ministers of Karnataka are ST Somashekar, Ramesh Laxmanrao Jarkiholi, Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, BA (Byrathi) Basavaraj, Arabail Hebbar Shivaram, Hasavanagowda C Patil, K Gopalaiah, Narayana Gowda and Shrimant Balasaheb Patil.
This development comes after the bypolls that were conducted in Karnataka in December 2019. Many MLAs had won the by-polls on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket after switching loyalties from the Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS) and Congress. Out of the 15 assembly constituencies, where the bypolls were held in 2019 BJP had won 12 seats, Congress had won 2 and JDS drew blank.
Araga Jnanendra, a four-time MLA from Thirthahalli constituency in Karnataka, expressed his disappointment over the cabinet expansion in Karnataka government. As per media reports, he admitted that “injustice” is being done to the senior leaders of BJP. MLA Araga Jnanendra also explained his journey in politics and asserted that he deserved a cabinet berth.
Talking about the cabinet expansion in Karnataka, the four-time MLA said, “There is no question on justice or injustice in the cabinet expansion, its reality and we should accept. I entered into politics with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa in 1983. We both contested in the same year from BJP. I worked from the grass-root (level), built the party without expectations."
"Yes, I know the current situation, but the Chief Minister must consider my request for a cabinet berth. Yes, injustice (has been done) to senior BJP legislators in expansion. I have requested the Chief Minister to induct me in the cabinet and I hope it will be done in the coming days,” Jnanendra said.