Karnataka BJP ‘rebel’ MLA Yatnal tipped for Cabinet post
Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP ‘rebel’ MLA, Basnagouda Patil Yatnal, who waged a lone battle against Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s style of functioning, is tipped for a Cabinet post in the long-awaited Cabinet expansion that is scheduled for January 13.
Party sources told IANS that Yatnal is likely to be inducted into the Cabinet only to keep a check on the growing interference of Yediyurappa’s youngest son, B.Y. Vijayendra, who has often been accused by the party leaders of taking undue advantage due to his father’s position.
Other than Yatnal, Aravind Limbavali, apparently being rewarded for Madhya Pradesh government toppling operation, Rupali Naik, MLA Karwar under women’s quota, Umesh Katti, MLA, Lingayat quota, Munirathna Naidu who crossed over to BJP from Congress, M.P. Renukacharya and S.R. Vishwanath – both staunch loyalists of Yediyurappa, are also expected to be inducted into the Cabinet.
“This list is approved by none other than Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J.P. Nadda during Yediyurappa’s meeting with them,” a leader said.
It is worth noting here, that Yatnal had been lashing out at Yediyurappa and his son, Vijayendra, openly and even set the date that after Makar Sankranti festival, Yediyurappa would be replaced by a leader from north Karnataka region.
On his return from Delhi, Yediyurappa had said that the central leadership had finalised seven names. “January 14 is the festival (Makar Sankranti). Most probably the oath-taking ceremony will take place on January 13 afternoon. I will confirm the names and portfolios later,” he said.
Among those in the ministerial race in the state are three MLCs – C.P. Yogeshwar, M.T.B. Nagaraj and R. Shankar. While another MLC, Adaguru H. Vishwanath, was also in the race but his hopes were dashed when the Karnataka High Court on November 30 barred him from becoming a minister until at least May this year.
At present, apart from these leaders, nearly dozen legislators are lobbying hard to secure Cabinet berths for themselves.
Bypolls are scheduled for Maski and Basavakalyan Assembly seats and Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency. While Maski fell vacant due to the resignation of Congress MLA Pratap Gouda Patil in 2019, the bypoll to Basavakalyan and Belagavi seats were necessitated following the deaths of their representatives B. Narayan Rao and Suresh Angadi, respectively, due to the Covid pandemic.