Special Correspondent

MANGALORE: The Bharatiya Janata Party is eyeing the portfolios of Public Works and Power under the chief ministership of B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Party’s State unit president D.V. Sadananda Gowda told The Hindu here on Friday that the power-sharing agreement could be ready by Saturday evening after discussions with the Janata Dal (Secular).

Mr. Gowda said the Janata Dal (Secular) had enjoyed the two portfolios in the first 20 months of the coalition governance and it was time that party left them for the BJP. “There should be some give and take,” he said.

Asked why the BJP was keen on the two portfolios, Mr. Gowda recalled that the Janata Dal (Secular) had insisted on these portfolios and the BJP had agreed to this. Now it was time for that party to leave them for the BJP.

District in-charge

Mr. Gowda said the principle was that BJP legislators would continue to be district in-charge ministers wherever BJP legislators outnumbered those of the Janata Dal (Secular). Going by this rule party’s legislator B. Nagaraja Shetty would be the district in-charge minister for Dakshina Kannada though the Ministry of Fisheries, which Mr. Shetty held before the combine lost, might go to the Janata Dal (Secular).

Earlier, he told presspersons that his party would have 16 berths in the new Ministry and the Janata Dal (Secular) 18. This was in line with the agreement the two parties had reached when the combine came to power.

On the letter written by the Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Deve Gowda to BJP president Rajnath Singh, he said Mr. Deve Gowda was free to discuss the matter with Mr. Singh. “We have no objection to that.”

The BJP leader said the one-point agenda of the BJP-Janata Dal (Secular) combine would be Karnataka’s overall development. He said the party would expedite all the road works and complete them by March. “We will upgrade all the roads,” he said adding that the district would be well-connected to all the destinations by road.

Mr. Gowda promised a better deal for arecanut growers for whom already a Rs. 10-crore package had been announced.

He saw no reason why the farmers’ lands in the district could not be transferred for the Mangalore Special Economic Zone.

On the opposition by the farmers from Permude and other villagers, he said the party would intervene and convince them on the need for the project.

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