Several Cong, JDS MLAs willing to join BJP: Yeddyurappa
Bengaluru: Just a fortnight after the JD(S)-Congress combine formed a government in Karnataka, BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa has stated that disgruntled leaders are ready to defect.
Speaking to the media, Yeddyurappa said, “Several youth leaders and other leaders of Congress-JD(S) are on the verge of joining BJP. By inducting these leaders into the BJP, we will be able to strengthen every Vidhana Sabha assembly constituency. If 104 leaders (BJP MLAs) in the Assembly stand up against them, the Congress-JD(S) power will melt away. The BJP has the ability to fight back and everyone knows it. Let’s work together for better governance. We (BJP) have never been after the chair, and we will fight as the Opposition.”
Dissent is already brewing in both the parties, especially after cabinet berths were announced.
Senior leaders like MB Patil and Satish Jarkiholi have openly voiced their opposition to those who were given berths.
Sources in the JD(S) said on Saturday that Minister for Higher Education, GT Deve Gowda, the man who defeated the seemingly invincible Siddaramaiah in Mysuru’s Chamundeshwari, is upset.
JD(S) insiders said that GT Deve Gowda has approached Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and asked for a reallocation of ministry and has threatened to launch a non-cooperation protest against the JD(S).
“GT Deve Gowda has said that if he is not given the portfolio he wants, he will not execute works as the Minister for Higher Education. He also held talks with the CM today (Saturday) and has expressed his concerns. Also, CS Putaraju, the MLA from Melukote, feels he has been sidelined by being made the Minor Irrigation Minister. He too wants a better portfolio,” the source said.
Followers of CS Puttaraju have launched a protest in Melukote and have said that they would continue to fight until he gets his due.
Meanwhile, the Congress high command has communicated to state leaders that the ministerial berths would be on a rotational basis and after two years, those who missed out, would be offered portfolios.
“Mallikarjun Kharge and Deputy CM Dr Parameshwara held MB Patil, the former Water Resources Minister, responsible for the party’s loss in over 20 segments due to his movement to spearhead the call for a separate Lingayat religion. Although, at the time, the Congress leaders had agreed that it would be a strategic move to divide the BJP’s voter base, it eventually backfired and now Patil has been made the scapegoat. The high command is now trying to pacify these leaders so they don’t quit,” the source added.