Most newly inducted Ministers don’t get portfolios of their choice in Karnataka

Most of the newly inducted Ministers, who were hoping that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would reward them with plum portfolios for helping it form government in the State through their defection, were in for a disappointment on Monday.

Of the 10 new Ministers, only three got “plum” portfolios. Even among them, only Ramesh Jarkiholi got the portfolio of his choice — Major and Medium Irrigation from Water Resources.

Though S.T. Somashekhar and Byrathi Basavaraj got important portfolios, they were not what they originally wanted. Mr. Somashekhar, who was reportedly keen on handling Bengaluru Development, got the Cooperation Department, while Mr. Basavaraj, who was said to be interested in the Transport portfolio, was given Urban Development, without major components such as Bengaluru Development, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). Though these components come under the broader classification of Bengaluru City Development, the message is clear that the party is keen on reducing the importance of the Urban Development portfolio, as even regular components such as Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB), Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC), and the Directorate of Town Planning too have been removed from it.

Sudhakar speaks up

The remaining seven new Ministers did not get the portfolios they had anticipated. K. Sudhakar, who was eyeing the Energy portfolio, had to make do with Medical Education. In fact, he hinted at his disappointment by telling mediapersons that the portfolio was “different” from what he had sought.

Similarly, Anand Singh, who was said to be hoping for the Mining portfolio, was given Food and Civil Supplies, while Gopalaiah was given Small Industries, as against his reported wish for Agriculture. Shrimanth Patil got Textiles, even though his choice was Sugar.

This is being interpreted in BJP circles as an “intentional exercise” to ensure that the newcomers in the party do not get undue importance as most of them lack administration experience. “Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has kept his promise by inducting 10 of the 11 defectors into the Cabinet. But he has also put in place checks and balances by not giving plum portfolios to most of them,” a source in the party said.

On their part, all the newly inducted Ministers, except Dr. Sudhakar, did not show their disappointment publicly and maintained that they were happy with whatever portfolio was given to them.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:31:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/most-newly-inducted-karnataka-ministers-do-not-get-portfolios-of-their-choice/article30786339.ece

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