In the recent assembly elections in Karnataka, BJP won 12 out of 15 seats, with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa ‘s government becoming strong, but they may have to face yet another difficulty. As Chief Minister, Yediyurappa has to expand the cabinet to include newly elected BJP MLAs but he may have to face resentment within the party. When Yediyurappa was sworn in as chief minister four months ago, he kept 17 of the 34 vacancies in the cabinet vacant. He left the rest of the vacancies to be filled by inept MLAs who won the by-elections. Of these, 11 have returned to the assembly. Sources in the BJP said that balancing caste and religion in the cabinet would be a major headache for 76-year-old Yediyurappa. For example, Yediyurappa’s cabinet already has four ministers from Bangalore city and two from Belagavi district. Now four more MLAs have won from Bengaluru and three have won in Belagavi district. As per Yediyurappa’s assurance given to the disqualified MLAs, these seven MLAs will be part of the new cabinet. This would increase the number of ministers from Bengaluru to eight and five from Belagavi. This will affect the representation in the cabinet of other districts of the state.
When Yediyurappa was sworn in as chief minister four months ago, he kept 17 of the 34 vacancies in the cabinet vacant.
In terms of caste, the cabinet also has seven ministers from the already dominant Lingayat community and three ministers from Vokkaliga and Scheduled Caste each. Winning the by-elections of four more Lingayat MLAs will make it difficult for the Chief Minister to give them a place in the Cabinet. Some BJP leaders indicated that the party’s central leadership may decide to remove some ministers from Yediyurappa’s current cabinet. Political analyst Sandeep Shastri said, “The newly elected MLAs will expect to get a large portfolio. If Yediyurappa gives some such portfolios to him, resentment will emerge in the party. Along with this, it has to be seen how the attitude of the central leadership of the BJP goes. Political experts say that Yediyurappa will have to deal with political challenges as well as face pressure from voters to fulfill election promises. Political analyst Harish Ramaswamy said, “The last four months of Yediyurappa’s government have been nothing special. Now they will have to consider making special schemes for the state as well as giving relief to the flood victims. However, many BJP leaders are confident that Yediyurappa will be able to overcome these difficulties and the Karnataka government will run strongly under his leadership.