Many leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here on Sunday kept guessing whether Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts will get more berths in the Cabinet led by D.V. Sadananda Gowda.
Sources in the BJP told The Hindu that J. Krishna Palemar, MLA from Mangalore North, and V.S. Acharya, MLC, were likely to be accommodated in Mr. Sadananda Gowda's team. “They are likely to be included in ‘everything is fine within the family portrait' being projected by the party,” a senior leader said.
It is not clear if four-time MLAs S. Angara from Sullia and N. Yogish Bhat from Mangalore South will find place in the Cabinet. Sources in the ruling party said talks were on till late on Sunday on the allocation of portfolios to Mr. Palemar and Mr. Angara.
Mr. Bhat and Mr. Angara did not revolt when they were not made Ministers by B.S. Yeddyurappa both in the BJP-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government led by H.D. Kumaraswamy and also in the previous Ministry.
Sources said the party was unlikely to replace Mr. Bhat as Deputy Speaker of the Assembly. It was yet to be seen if Mr. Gowda would accommodate Mr. Angara from his home taluk in the Cabinet.
Kota Srinivasa Poojary, a second time MLC from Udupi district, has emerged as another prominent contender as he represents the Billava community, the main vote bank of the party.
Sources said although former Lokayutka N. Santosh Hegde resigned (and later withdrew his resignation) in June 2010 after Mr. Palemar, the then Minister for Ports, recommended the suspension of Deputy Conservator of Forests R. Gokul, Mr. Palemar defended his action stating that Mr. Gokul had failed to attend a meeting convened by him.
This incident did not come in the way of Mr. Palemar continuing in the Cabinet led by B. S. Yeddyurappa. Mr. Palemar survived the Cabinet reshuffle by Mr. Yeddyurappa in September 2010.
Sources said the party was not in a position to sideline Mr. Palemar who was known for his organisational capabilities in Dakshina Kannada.