Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Tuesday said BJP MLC C P Yogeshwar will be “100 per cent made Minister” during the much awaited expansion or reshuffle of his cabinet, even as a section within the party are opposed to it.
“Yogeshwar will 100 per cent be made Minister,” he told reporters in response to a question about resentment within the party against his possible induction into the cabinet.
Thanking Yediyurappa, Yogeshwar said the CM had been saying he would induct him into the cabinet ever since the party came to power and the time for it has come now. “Maybe because there were views in favour and against my induction into cabinet, the CM has clarified today. I will take up any responsibility (portfolio) the CM allocates to me.”
Yogeshwar had lost the 2018 assembly polls from Channapatna against former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy of JD(S). He is said to have played a key role by managing the Congress-JD(S) rebel MLAs during their stay in Mumbai, which gave raise to political turmoil in the state, and eventually led to the collapse of the coalition government headed by Kumaraswamy last year,paving the way for BJP to come to power.
It is said he was rewarded with MLC nomination in July in recognition of his contribution for BJP coming to power. Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi has been lobbying for Yogeshwar’s induction into the Ministry. The duo had met Yediyurappa, as also BJP central leaders in Delhi, including party National President J P Nadda and General Secretary (Organisation) B L Santosh in this regard.
Speaking to reporters in Hukkeri, Jarkiholi said it was the Chief Minister’s prerogative on whom to appoint as Minister. “We will abide by his decision,” he said. However, several MLAs who are Ministerial aspirants, including CM’s political secretary M P Renukacharya, have been openly opposing Yogeshwar’s induction, saying he has not been elected by people directly and it would scuttle their chances.
Earlier, several BJP MLAs, including Renukacharya, had met Jarkiholi and had requested him not to lobby for Yogeshwar. Reacting to the Yediyurappa confirming Ministerial berth to Yogeshwar, Renukacharya today said he does not have the powers to question the Chief Minister and the high command’s authority or prerogative. “We will try to speak to the CM and party leadership on what we had discussed with CM and the state unit president in the past,” he said.
A Vokkaliga leader from Ramanagara district, Yogeshwar had served as Minister in the previous BJP government. He also had a stint in the Congress. Yediyurappa has been waiting for some time to carry out the cabinet exercise, as he was asked by BJP president J P Nadda during their November 18 meeting in New Delhi to wait for clearance from the central leadership.
The CM had told reporters on Friday that he had spoken to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on cabinet expansion, and the central leadership would convey their decision soon, and that the exercise may take place in two-three days. PTI