Karnataka Cabinet expansion leads to problems for Chief Minister Yediyurappa

Published : January 15, 2021 18:33 IST

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. (file photo) Photo: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI

If Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa thought that he would be able to breathe a sigh of relief after the much-delayed expansion of the State Cabinet, he was wrong. The expansion, that finally took place on Wednesday after being repeatedly stymied by the central leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has led to serious allegations of corruption and blackmail, with a few disgruntled legislators taking their grievances to the party high command in Delhi for having been left out. The fact that districts such as Bengaluru and Belagavi have received the lion’s share in the expanded Cabinet has also resulted in disgruntlement among party legislators.

M.P. Renukacharya, political secretary to the Chief Minister and MLA from Honnali, expressed his displeasure at not being included in the Ministry and stated, “The Karnataka government cannot be restricted only to two districts (Bengaluru and Belagavi). I will discuss this matter thoroughly with the party leadership in Delhi.”

Senior BJP MLA of Vijayapura City, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, who has been brazenly attacking Yediyurappa over the past year, also made some startling accusations. He said, “The legislators who became ministers blackmailed the CM because they have a CD. This CD not only contains information about Yediyurappa’s corruption but contains some footage that is shocking to see.” Yatnal did not specify what this ‘shocking’ footage was but his allegations have led to severe speculation in local media that it could contain something very embarrassing for Yediyurappa.

Yatnal went on to accuse the Chief Minister of obliging Congress leaders such as D.K. Shivakumar, Zameer Ahmed Khan and K J. George because they also had the CD, while ignoring BJP legislators who sought funds for development.

Veteran political leader A.H. Vishwanath, who had defected from the Janata Dal (Secular) to the BJP in 2019, also stated that “the corrupt and brokers (dallala in Kannada) among the legislators were chosen as ministers”.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa responded to these allegations and said, “Whoever has problems with the Cabinet expansion can go to Delhi and complain to the party seniors. I do not have any problem in this regard.”

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