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BJP workers irked over choice of Ministers

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Feeling let down: Supporters of S.A. Ramadas and H.S. Shankaralinge Gowda staging a protest in Mysore on Saturday.
Feeling let down: Supporters of S.A. Ramadas and H.S. Shankaralinge Gowda staging a protest in Mysore on Saturday.

Staff Correspondent

Non-inclusion of Shankaralinge Gowda, S.A. Ramadas in the Ministry sparks protests

I made a sacrifice in the interests of the

party, says Ramadas

Shankarlinge Gowda feels ditched by party leadership

MYSORE: A pall of gloom has descended over Mysore following the non-inclusion of H.S. Shankaralinge Gowda, a four-time MLA, and S.A. Ramadas, a three-time MLA, in the ministry.

Supporters of both Mr. Shankaralinge Gowda and Mr. Ramadas have been staging protests against the “denial” of ministerial berths to the two leaders. They were hoping till Friday morning that that the two will be included in the ministry.

Supporters of Mr. Shankaralinge Gowda and Mr. Ramadas held demonstrations near K.R. Circle and the Government Guest House on Friday night.

They staged a dharna at Gandhi Square on Saturday, urging Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to provide ministerial berths to the two leaders. The police foiled an attempt by a supporter of Mr. Shankaralinge Gowda to commit suicide by consuming poison.

Mr. Shankaralinge Gowda has been elected for the fourth time in a row from Chamaraja constituency, and he is a representative of the Vokkaliga community in the party, in the Cauvery belt.

He had aspired for a ministerial berth in the Kumaraswamy-led Government too, but was not accommodated. Mr. Gowda was offered the post of chairman of Mysore Sales International Limited, which he rejected outright. Mr. Shankaralinge Gowda’s supporters thought that he will get a ministerial berth this time as there were no contenders who belong to his community in the party, especially after the defeat of Vokkaliga strongman and the former Minister G.T. Deve Gowda.

Mr. Ramadas, who defeated M.K. Somashekar of the Congress to win the Krishnaraja seat, is representing the constituency for the third time. His supporter’s hopes of his joining the ministry too have been dashed. Following the decision not to include them in the Ministry, the entire Cauvery belt including Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Hassan, Kodagu and Mandya districts will go without any representation in the Government.

Cauvery belt

It is significant that of the 31 seats in the Cauvery belt, the BJP could win only Chamaraja and Krishnaraja in Mysore city. Although Mr. Ramadas is reconciled to the situation, Mr. Shankarlinge Gowda is totally disappointed.

When contacted, Mr. Ramadas said that he had to make a sacrifice in the interests of the party, knowing well that the leaders were under pressure from various power centres.

“I am happy that those who worked with me including Ashok and Aravinda Limbavali, when I was president of the BJP Yuva Morcha, have been sworn in”, he said.

Asked about the Mysore region going unrepresented in the ministry, he said that it was the party’s decision and the leaders would do something about that.

Mr. Shankarlinge Gowda said that he had been promised of being included in the Ministry. He said that he was disappointed that the party leaders had ditched him. “By making land grabbers, money lenders and criminals Ministers, the party has showed scant respect for the values it propagated all these years”, he said.

Mr. Shankaralinge Gowda said that he was hurt at Mr. Yeddyurappa’s remark that he was an obstacle. “What was my mistake? Serving the party without aspiring for anything for over 25 years was the only mistake I have committed”, he said. “As they had sent me feelers, I questioned Mr. Yeddyurappa. Otherwise, I would have not asked him the reason for not including me”, he said.

‘Conspiracy’

Mr. Shankaralinge Gowda said that he was the one who had built the party in Mysore, but this was the reward he had got. He alleged that some people had conspired against him to prevent him becoming a Minister. He clarified that despite the “humiliation” he had suffered, he would not desert the party, and that he would towards organising it in the capacity of an ordinary worker.

Asked whether he would accept chairmanship of boards or corporations, he said he would not.

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