At least five of the 11 BJP legislators from Bengaluru are front-runners for a berth in the new Cabinet chief minister BS Yediyurappa (BSY) is expected to constitute this weekend.
The task before BSY, according to BJP sources, is to reduce the number to three, considering that a couple of cabinet posts for Bengaluru may have to be kept vacant to accommodate rebel MLAs at a later stage. The BJP has 105 MLAs.
Among the front-runners are R Ashoka, S Suresh Kumar, Arvind Limbavali and V Somanna, who served as ministers in Yediyurappa cabinet between 2008 and 2011. Malleshwaram MLA Ashwath Narayan CN is the latest entrant to the list of aspirants. Party insiders say that chances of him being considered cannot be ruled out as he played a crucial role in herding the rebel Congress and JD(S) legislators.
Four disqualified MLAs from the city who jumped ship — ST Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraju, Munirathna and K Gopalaiah — too, are likely to vie for cabinet posts. Keeping the disqualified MLAs — who have petitioned the Supreme Court — in mind, Yediyurappa is expected to keep a few berths unfilled until a decision is made on their disqualification.
“We think the city will get 5-6 Cabinet posts, of which three will be for BJP MLAs,” a BJP source said.
In the past decade, successive governments have accommodated 3-5 legislators from Bengaluru in the Cabinet. When Yediyurappa was the chief minister in 2008, he had inducted four city MLAs, despite the number of MLAs elected from the city being at an all-time high of
16. Later, when the Siddaramaiahled Congress came to power in 2013, he initially inducted three city MLAs, and eventually increased the count to five. Then the total number of Congress MLAs from the city was 13.
“Seniority and caste factors will come into play in selecting the ministers. The party has worked on the list of eligible candidates,” N Ravi Kumar. BJP state general secretary, told ET.
The state leaders, however, say the central leadership will make the final call. “There may be too many aspirants. But the central leadership will have the last say,” a city MLA said.
Source: Economic Times