Karnataka Chief Minister Yediyurappa Shuffles Ministers In-Charge Of Covid-19 Relief Work, ‘Rebel’ MLAs Accommodated
Yediyurappa gives new roles to ministers in response to complaints that some ministers have not been focusing on Covid-19 relief work.
In a bid to ensure better implementation of relief measures amid the coronavirus outbreak, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has reshuffled district in-charges — ministers — in the state.
While Ramesh Jarkiholi, Shrimant Patil and K Gopalaiah have been exempt from district in-charge duties, Deputy Chief Ministers Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, Laxman Savadi and Govind Karjol have been given charge of Ramanagara, Raichur and Bagalkote.
In total of 25 ministers have been given charge of one district each, while Bengaluru Urban has been retained by the Chief Minister. S T Somashekhar replaces V Somanna as the in-charge of Mysuru.
This appointment of new ministers is said to be in response to complaints about certain ministers not visiting their respective districts to oversee the Covid-19 relief work.
While there is also news of lobbying within the cabinet for the post of district in-charges, as the newly-appointed ‘rebel’ ministers had been demanding charge of their ‘home turfs’ since their inclusion in the cabinet. In this context, certain districts that were held as additional charges have been reassigned.
Of the ‘defectors’, Dr Sudhakar, who also handles the medical education portfolio, has got charge of his home constituency Chikabalapura, which was until now held by Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayan.
Sudhakar is one of the few rebels who got the portfolio of their choice along with another key former Congress leader, Ramesh Jharkiholi, who led the ‘defection’ and engineered the fall of the previous coalition government.
Sudhakar’s disappointment over not being allotted the post of his choice in the previous coalition government, which he is said to have called an attempt by the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) to snub ‘a rising Vokkaliga’ leader, had led him to ‘defect’.
The minister, who has been very proactive in his handling of the Bengaluru Covid-19 war room, was also in the news in a battle for handling all coronavirus relief operations in the state with Minister for Health and Family Welfare B Sriramulu.
The latter, who is said to have sought the charge of Ballari, his home turf, has lost it to another rebel and long-time competitor and mining baron Anand Singh.
Their internal disputes had Sriramulu quit the party earlier to form BSR Congress. Anand Singh had also demanded for a separate Vijayanagara district to be carved out of Ballari, while Sriramulu has been against the bifurcation.
Jarkiholi though has been not given any district in-charge duties as he was seeking Belagavi, which is held by senior partyman and Lingayat leader Jagadish Shettar, who is also a former chief minister (short stint) and seen as strong competitor to Yediyurappa’s Lingayat legacy. He is said to have refused to take charge of any other districts.
Another replacement is that of Mysuru district in-charge V Somanna by yet another rebel MLA S T Somashekhar. Somanna held the charge of Mysuru along with Kodagu. Somashekhar is said to have sought the charge of Ramanagara, which is held currently by DCM Ashwath Narayana who is also a Vokkaliga.
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