T.S. Ranganna

Yediyurappa may be appointed Deputy Chief Minister, may not seek Finance portfolio

Shettar, Eshwarappa, Udasi may be accommodated BJP interested in securing Industries and Water Resources departments Tug-of-war for Urban Development portfolio Party wants chairmen of boards and corporations named

BANGALORE: Now that the fate of first coalition government is almost sealed with Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh making it clear that he will not make efforts to persuade the MLAs' group led by Janata Dal (S) State unit Working President H.D. Kumaraswamy to support him, the Bharatiya Janata Party has started the exercise of "ministry making" in right earnest.

According to sources in the BJP, a few leaders from the party will be asked to join the Ministry, and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly B.S. Yediyurappa, the chief architect of the "new coalition", will be made Deputy Chief Minister.

List of aspirants

The sources said that in case Mr. Dharam Singh resigns without taking a vote of confidence, the BJP will have to be ready with a list of legislators, including members of the Legislative Council, whom it wants accommodated in the Ministry.

Even before a clear picture can emerge, there seems to be fierce competition between R. Ashok and Katta Subramanya Naidu, MLAs from Uttarahalli and Shivajinagar, respectively. Sensing trouble, party leaders, it is learnt, have decided not to prepare a full list of aspirants for ministerial berths in one go. Mr. Ashok and Mr. Naidu, who are serving their third terms as MLAs, are said to be eyeing the Urban Development Department.


The party sources said that apart from Mr. Yediyurappa, the others who will take oath of office as Ministers are State unit president Jagadish Shettar, who represents Hubli in the Legislative Assembly, Deputy Leader of the BJP in the Assembly Govind Karajol, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and former State unit President K.S. Eshwarappa, and C.M. Udasi, who represents Hanagal in Haveri district. Except Mr. Udasi, a former Public Works Minister, the others have not served as Ministers.

Portfolios in demand

According to sources, Mr. Yediyurappa is not likely to ask for the Finance portfolio. But he is said to be interested in the Industries, Infrastructure, and Water Resources departments being given to his party members for the opportunity these portfolios offer for direct contact with the people.

It is learnt that no BJP member of the Legislative Council may be accommodated immediately as there are too many candidates, such as party floor leader D.H. Shankaramurthy, Ramachandra Gowda, V.S. Acharya, 'Mukhyamantri' Chandru, Shashil G. Namoshi, and Arvind Limbavali. However, Mr. Shankaramurthy may be included.

Sources said the BJP has discussed the desirability of going ahead with the appointment of chairmen to the over 75 boards and corporations to help the two parties to show results in three or four months.

No discussions

Mr. Shettar has said the BJP has not discussed preparation of a list of names to be inducted in the Ministry or allocation of portfolios, and it will be done in consultation with the party high command. Mr. Yediyurappa, who attended the BJP National Council meeting in New Delhi, has returned. M. Venkaiah Naidu, MP and General Secretary, H.N. Ananth Kumar are in the capital, possibly to assist party President Rajnath Singh in completing the appointment of office-bearers.