Ministerial jugglery hits BSY’s image

B.S. Yediyurappa  

The four Cabinet rejigs by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, in less than a week, seem to have hit his image as an “assertive leader” that he had earned after convincing the high command and expanded his Cabinet, party strategists feel.

Amidst speculation of leadership change, the party high command giving assent to expand the Cabinet was a clear message to dissenters within the party that the Central leadership was not thinking of changing him in the near future. It indicated that high command acknowledged the lack of credible alternatives to him.

“However, the repeated jugglery with portfolios has painted a very different picture, of one who is prone to pulls and pressures and is unable to assert himself,” a senior legislator conceded. However, his close associates point to the “political reality” of the need to accommodate defectors and balance partymen upset over defectors cornering opportunities.

“Given the composition of the government today, there is a need to make some adjustments, which cannot be wished away,” said senior MLC Lehar Singh. Meanwhile, others observed that the Chief Minister has retained plum portfolios of Bengaluru Development and Energy, which if devolved to others, would have solved the issue more amicably.

Not just the 17 defectors, many other party leaders like C.N. Ashwath Narayan, C.P. Yogeshwar, J.C. Madhuswamy who played a role in toppling the coalition government and bringing BJP to power, feel they have a claim over this government, creating an imbalance in Cabinet in terms of caste, region and seniority, a Minister said. “The Chief Minister is in a fix and anyone in his place would face similar pressures. It is a compromise the party has made to come to power,” he said.

“Mr. Yediyurappa fell a few seats short of majority twice in 2008 and 2018 and both times he has faced an antagonistic party high command. Operation Kamala, a political exigency to capture power, is at the root of indiscipline within the party’s political culture,” said one of his close associates, who did not wish to be named.

However, another former legislator from the RSS stable identified with the opposite faction, said one of their main objections to Mr. Yediyurappa was his dilution of the ideological base within the State unit. “Today more than half of our party is filled with outsiders, creating a stark division between party workers and outsiders,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 2:49:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ministerial-jugglery-hits-bsys-image/article33679310.ece

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