Bengaluru: A month after B S Yediyurappa took over as Chief Minister of Karnataka, portfolios were finally allocated to the 17 ministers sworn in earlier and three deputy chief ministers named to work alongside him. This comes a week after expansion of the ministry with the induction of 17 ministers. The deputy chief minister are: five time MLA from Mudhol Govind Karjol (68), two-time MLA from Malleswaram Dr C N Ashwath Narayan (51) and three-time MLA from Athani Lakshman Savadi (59) who lost the election in 2018. They belong to Dalit, Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities, respectively.
While Karjol is perceived to be close to the Chief Minister, the other two are known to have played a key role in the party’s efforts to topple the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.
While Yediyurappa is reportedly not happy with the decision to appoint three deputy chief ministers, several senior leaders are said to be upset with the choice of Ashwath Narayan, seen as a relatively junior member, and Savadi, who lost the 2018 elections. However, the party high command has left them with little options but to tow the line, sources said.
The BJP, in its earlier tenure, had appointed R Ashoka and K S Eshwarappa as deputy CMs under Jagadish Shettar in 2012. All three leaders are now part of the cabinet. They have been allotted major portfolios of revenue, rural development and panchayat raj and large and medium scale industries, respectively.
Umesh Katti upset
"I think Chief Minister Yediyurappa is also not happy with the decision of the party high command," former minister Umesh Katti said in Belagavi. He was reacting on the appointment of three Deputy CMs. Katti is said to be upset at being left out of the cabinet. “I believe the CM is unhappy. As for me, I am just an MLA. What can I say about the high command decision? I will wait and watch. I will react later," he said.
"It is true that I was upset as I was not included in the cabinet. But my party leaders asked me to wait for a few days. I will wait for the party’s reaction in the second round of cabinet expansions," he said.