Regional representation takes a hit amidst political compulsions

Regional representation has taken a hit in the political manoeuvring that appeared to have focused mainly on taking different factions in the BJP into confidence as 13 of the total 31 districts do not have representation in Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s ministry.

Though the Chief Minister had been referring to the need for ensuring regional representation, this aspect is missing amidst various political compulsions. On their part, the party insiders blame it on the compulsion to accommodate legislators who came from other parties to help the BJP rise to power.

But the fact that a sizeable chunk of districts have gone without representation has already started causing concern among party cadre as that may come in the way of poll preparations. This is more so in districts coming under the Old Mysore region as several of them lack political representation in the ministry especially at a time when the party is trying to establish its identity by making inroads in these districts.

There is no representation in the ministry for districts like Mysuru, Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Vijayapura, Davangere, and Ballari where the party has a strong base and strong network. The other districts which lack representation are Chamarajanagar, Ramanagaram, Kolar, Hassan, Kalaburagi, Raichur, and Yadgir.

At the same time, there is a mismatch as Bengaluru has seven Ministers and six other districts, including Belagavi and Shivamogga, have two Ministers each. The situation is unlikely improve with only four vacant berths out of a possible 34.

Responding to this, Chief Minister said that Ministers from other areas would be given the responsibility of effective implementation of developments works.

In contrast to regional balance, the Chief Minister appears to have tried hard on balancing caste equations. Eight of his team members belong to the dominant Lingayat community to which he too belongs, while seven are from the other dominant community of Vokkaligas. There are seven OBCs, three from the Scheduled Castes, while one Minister belongs to Scheduled Tribes. Mr. Bommai explicitly spelt out the caste combination in the press conference.

There were discordant voices on caste representation too. For instance, Sri Krishna Yadavananda Swami, while referring to community MLA Poornima Srinivas (Golla) missing on ministerial opportunity, alleged that the BJP has given importance only to dominant communities.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 12:42:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/regional-representation-takes-a-hit-amidst-political-compulsions/article35733802.ece

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