Those who openly criticised party colleagues lose out

The BJP high command, in picking Ministers in the Basavaraj Bommai-led ministry, seems to have kept out legislators who had opened fronts against party colleagues in public – either against or in defence of B.S. Yediyurappa, adversely impacting the party’s image.

“This is a clear message from the party to the legislators and cadre that indiscipline will not be tolerated,” a senior party leader said.

C.P. Yogeshwar, who became a Minister in January 2021 and later turned a bitter critic of Mr. Yediyurappa, made frequent trips to Delhi and speculated on leadership change, found no place. Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, a trenchant critique of the former Chief Minister who was also served a show-cause notice by the party, Aravind Bellad, who alleged the government had tapped his phone, also did not make it. M.P. Renukacharya, who was political secretary to Mr. Yediyurappa, Nehru Olekar, and other aspirants close to him who had openly attacked other party leaders did not get berths.

Amidst speculation that many seniors will be axed, K.S. Eshwarappa, who had complained against the then Chief Minister to the Governor, emerged survivor. “His commitment to the party and lack of other credible leaders from among Kurubas, the biggest OBC community, has given him a new lease of life,” a senior party leader said.

Another senior leader who survived is Govind Karjol, who belongs to the Dalit (left) community, a key votebank for the BJP.

Senior former Ministers who did not make it back to the Cabinet include former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who decided to sit out, former Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, senior Ministers S. Suresh Kumar and Arvind Limbavali. “Mr. Savadi had a great opportunity when he was made DCM, but he seems to have squandered it. He was dropped to prevent over-representation of Belagavi,” a strategist said. Mr. Limbavali was let go to cut down the dominance of Bengaluru in the Cabinet, sources said.

Meanwhile, party sources said Mr. Kumar had lost face after the oxygen shortage tragedy that led to the death of 24 COVID-19 patients at Chamarajanagar, which he was in charge of.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 2:20:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/those-who-openly-criticised-party-colleagues-lose-out/article35733830.ece

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