Nirani reads out the former Chief Minister's message at inaugural session

The publicity machine of the former Chief Minister was cranked up once again at the inaugural session of the Global Investors Meet on Thursday, with his staunch supporter Large and Medium-Scale Industries Minister Murugesh R. Nirani using the occasion to credit B.S. Yeddyurappa for being the architect of the biennial event.

The fact that he mentioned Mr. Yeddyurappa ahead of Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda was hard to miss.

Though Mr. Yeddyurappa was not present at the venue and his name was not mentioned in the official invitation, in his message, read by Mr. Nirani, the former Chief Minister said he could not attend the event as he was unwell.

Prominent Ministers from the Yeddyurappa camp such as Public Works Minister C.M. Udasi, Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Housing Minister V. Somanna were present on the main dais along with the VIPs. This was in addition to Mr. Nirani and Minister for Small-Scale Industries Narasimha Naik. Several legislators who owe allegiance to Mr. Yeddyurappa were present, including his close aide Lehar Singh.

Conspicuous by her absence, however, was Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje, despite the signing of MoUs in the energy sector. In fact, a large number of Ministers stayed away from the GIM. Home Minister R. Ashok, who's name was in the invitation, kept away. Ministers who were present were Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri and B.N. Bache Gowda.

Big and small

Giant cut-outs of Mr. Yeddyurappa posing in a suit had been put up at the official quarters of some of his ministerial supporters on Thursday morning. In these, Mr. Yeddyurappa's image loomed over the diminutive image of the Chief Minister.

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