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BJP high command warns Karnataka MLAs against dissidence
Bengaluru, Feb 4 - The BJP high command warned its disgruntled Karnataka legislators of disciplinary action for dissent over the second cabinet expansion on Thursday, a party official said on Tuesday.
"BJP national General Secretary B.L. Santosh has warned dissident legislators of disciplinary action if they precipitated crisis over their exclusion in the cabinet, as all MLAs cannot be made ministers," party's state unit spokesman G. Madhusudhana told IANS here.
With the BJP deciding to induct 10 of the 11 newly-elected lawmakers into the 34-member ministry as a reward for felicitating its return to power again in July 2019, the party is able to give cabinet posts to only three of its 100-odd lawmakers.
"The high command's diktat to the dissidents is not to hold separate meetings or air their disgruntlement for not making them ministers. The deserving among them may be considered for posts of chairmen of boards or corporations, which are equivalent to cabinet rank," said the spokesman, citing Santosh's advice to them.
Hectic lobbying for the three ministerial posts intensified ahead of the cabinet expansion with a dozen hopefuls meeting Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa at his residence through the day.
"As the BJP is committed to compensate the former Congress and JD-S rebels whose resignations from their assembly segments in July last led to the fall of their 14-month-old coalition government and the return of the BJP to power 6 months ago, the prospects of taking more party MLAs into the ministry are bleak," Madhusudhna said.
Meanwhile, a group of legislators from the state's northern and coastal districts met here to seek more representation in the 34-member ministry for regional balance as many of them were left out in the first cabinet expansion held on August 21.
Though the party won majority seats in the May 2018 Assembly from the coastal, Malnad and the Hyderabad-Karnataka regions, only a couple of MLAs from them were made ministers, with lawmakers from Bengaluru and Belagavi districts in the northwest region cornering many of the 17 posts in the first cabinet expansion.
Aurad legislator Prabhu Chauhan from Bidar district is the lone minister from the northern region in the Yediyurappa cabinet.
"We have sought an appointment with the Chief Minister on Wednesday for pressing our claim to have more representation from the regions that were ignored in the first cabinet expansion," party's Shorapur MLA Rajugouda from the region told reporters here.
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