Team Mangalorean - Bangalore
from Shweta Somaya
Bangalore: Two ministers of the Jagadish Shettar cabinet are in the 'race' and a collision 'course' to take control of the former Racecourse Road residence of B S Yeddyurappa.
The shadow of factionalism has fallen over housing matters also. The bone of contention between two ministers - Shobha Karandlaje and Balachandra Jarkiholi - is the bungalow which had been occupied by Yeddyurappa soon after he had become the deputy chief minister. After becoming the CM, he did not move to the official residence 'Anugraha' but, instead, continued staying in the RC Road home.
Ever since it is being regarded as lucky, for BSY had become chief minister after occupying it and had survived several times in the middle of persistent dissident activities. He spent unbroken six years in the same house.
When BSY had to resign as chief minister, he got the house allotted in the name of deputy chairman of state planning commission Ramachandra Gowda and himself continued staying there. Only when Sadananda Gowda resigned his Lok Sabha seat to contest the MLC election, BSY vacated the Racecourse Road residence to make way for DVS and moved to his Dollars Colony residence.
DVS got it allotted to his loyal supporter Balachandra Jarkiholi just before he resigned as CM. Jarkiholi was totally occupied with the political activities during the past one month and hence could not occupy the house.
In the meantime, energy minister Shobha Karandlaje wielded her influence with CM Jagadish Shettar and got the house allotted to herself. On Monday, within four days of taking over, Shettar issued the order without Jarkiholi's knowledge. And, quite expectedly, Jarkiholi was not amused.
Shobha Karandlaje, although hailing from the same community and district as of Sadananda Gowda, has identified herself prominently in the Yeddyurappa camp all along. However, at the height of activities to dislodge DVS at the end of June, she had gone on a pilgrimage to Manas Sarovar along with two friends including MLC Capt Ganesh Karnik. She still retained her post as a minister, in spite of staying far off the political games.
Shettar had only issued the order in favour of Shobha but it was yet to be implemented by the protocol and maintenance departments. Jarkiholi, on the strength of the allotment made by DVS, is determined to occupy the house at any cost. Well before Monday's order allotting it to Shobha could be out, disregarding the supervisory staff, got the lock broken and took possession of the house. Some heads in the maintenance section are likely to roll because of this wrangle.
"No matter if the government falls!"
Now all the arrangements and preparations have been in place for the house-warming and occupancy by Jarkiholi on July 20. For both of them, it is a matter of prestige now. Enquired about the possible fate of his stand, Jarkiholi, speaking to our correspondent, expressed his anger that the house allotted to him was made over to Shobha. Since it is a matter of prestige for him, he says, he has been insistent on getting it. Even if the government runs the risk of falling on account of this, he would not mind, he added.
He feels that already there has been discrimination in allotting portfolios. Departments cornering about 70% of grants like industry, energy, agriculture, water resources and public works have been given to a certain section of the legislators. The rest of the ministers have been given those like sericulture, fisheries and religious endowments. In these circumstances, one cannot keep quiet, he argues.
It is yet to be seen what shape this controversy is going to take. The political circles and the media are curiously awaiting further developments.