In a first for Karnataka, Yediyurappa gets three deputy CMs
For three weeks after he took the oath as Chief Minister on July 26, Karnataka's BS Yediyurappa ran his cabinet alone. After the cabinet was expanded, it took almost another week for him to announce portfolios. And in a first for the state, Yediyurappa will get three Deputy CMs, namely, Govind Karjol, Dr. Ashwath Narayan Gowda and Laxman Savadi. Here are more details.
In Andhra, Jagan Reddy has five deputy CMs
Interestingly, in Karnataka's neighboring state Andhra Pradesh, CM Jagan Reddy has five deputies. The trend of having multiple deputy CMs is seen as an attempt to keep several sections happy. The same idea was reflected in Yediyurappa's cabinet. While Karjol is a Dalit, Gowda and Savadi come from Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities respectively. Notably, the Lingayats backed BJP in assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
The announcement shows BJP is grooming next generation of leaders
Political analysts believe this model is aimed at limiting Yediyurappa's powers and give an indication that New Delhi will take all decisions. Further, BJP is also grooming the "next generation" of leaders. Yediyurappa is 76, a year more than BJP's informal age of retirement.
Leader who helped bring down coalition government was rewarded
BJP has duly rewarded Gowda, who played an important role in sequestering MLAs who brought down the coalition government led by HD Kumaraswamy. Gowda was given Higher Education, Information Technology, Biotechnology, and Science and Technology portfolios. Considering Karnataka's capital Bengaluru is seen as India's IT hub, Gowda got envious portfolios. Meanwhile, Karjol was given the responsibility of PWD and social welfare ministries
Basavaraj Bommai was given the Home Ministry
The third deputy CM, Savadi, was put at the helm of the transport portfolio. Basavaraj Bommai was made the Home Minister and former CM Jagdish Shettar got industries portfolio. Suresh Kumar, who was previously a law minister in Karnataka, will be in charge of primary and secondary education. Similarly, CT Ravi was given the responsibility of Tourism, Kannada and Culture.
Yediyurappa will handle unallocated portfolios
Jolle Shashikala Annasaheb, the only woman in the cabinet, was given the Women and Child Development portfolio. Yediyurappa will handle all the unallocated portfolios for now. Yediyurappa also has the challenge of curtailing dissent within the party, which was fanned after cabinet expansion. Some leaders openly slammed Yediyurappa after being left out, putting him in the same vulnerable position as his predecessor Kumaraswamy.
Reportedly, opposition is confident Yediyurappa won't complete his fourth-term
Seniors like Umesh Katti, Arvind Limbavali and S Angaraa have openly been critical of the choice of ministers, but BJP has chosen to ignore them. Meanwhile, the opposition Congress and JD(S) believe Yediyurappa's fourth stint as CM might not be completed either, as his government will be brought down by its own problems. They are now waiting for an opportunity to hit back at BJP.