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Why was one amongst three DCMs not tasked to hold all-party meeting in the absence of Yediyurappa?

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Political leader sees politics in Covid-19 too (as) Yediyurappa tasked Ashoka, Bommai to hold meeting with district deputy commissioners

BENGALURU:

Ad hocism in governance, especially in a time of the Covid-19 pandemic, was glaringly on display when Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa cancelled an all-party meeting scheduled for Sunday to discuss the Covid-19 crisis in Karnataka. The obvious reason for the cancellation was because the CM tested positive for the coronavirus – for the second time in 8 months –and was subsequently admitted to Manipal Hospital in the city. But the question that begs an answer from the BJP top brass is: Should the state government wait for the CM to be discharged and take control of the situation?

The BJP high command has appointed three Deputy Chief Ministers, Dr CN Ashwath Narayan (a qualified medical doctor), Govind Karjol and Laxman Savadi, and any one among them — especially Dr Ashwath Narayan — could have been asked to take interim charge and hold the scheduled all-party meeting.

Playing favourites?

Contrastingly, on Saturday Revenue Minister R Ashoka (Vice-Chairman of the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority), Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar were tasked with holding a meeting with all the district Deputy Commissioners on the Covid situation in the state.

Bommai, Ashoka and Sudhakar held a review meeting with district deputy commissioner’s on Saturday.

Sources said the CM had instructed Ashoka, Bommai and Sudhakar to take stock of the statewide situation via a meeting with all the Deputy Commissioners. “We will brief the CM on the outcome of the meeting through video conferencing,” Sudhakar told mediapersons on Saturday prior to the meeting with the Deputy Commissioners.

On the other hand, the three Deputy CMs have been charged with overseeing the situation in districts where they been appointed as district in-charge ministers. As per sources, Dr Ashwath Narayan chaired a meeting on Ramanagara district on Friday.

Yediyurappa with his cabinet colleague

‘Narayan’s wings clipped’

The question that arises is: Are these three Deputy CMs being ignored because of politics? “The appointment of three DCMs was seen as an alternative to the CM’s post. One amongst them was being seen as a successor to Yediyurappa (if at all the party decides to go for a change in guard). The two DCMs, Karjol and Savadi, had not shown any keenness in holding Covid-related meetings during the first wave of the virus while Ashwath Narayan was very active in the initial days. But his wings were clipped by the CM after it appeared that he was getting over-ambitious,” said a senior BJP leader.

“Ashoka, as Vice-Chairman of the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority, Bommai in his capacity as Home Minister (to control the law and order situation in the state) and Sudhakar as Health Minister should take part in meetings but the BJP high command should have tasked any one of the three DCMs to take control of the situation as head of the ministers until the CM is discharged from the hospital,” another senior BJP leader said.

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