Portfolio allocation in Karnataka deferred to next week

May 31st, 2008 - 10:33 pm ICT by admin  

Bangalore, May 31 (IANS) The new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka continued to face problems over cabinet composition Saturday. The 29 cabinet ministers who took oath Friday will now get their portfolios only by the end of next week. “The portfolios will be allocated only after the ministry wins the trust vote in the assembly June 6,” Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and state party chief D.V. Sadananda Gowda told reporters here.

They declined to give reasons for the delay but party sources said the problem created by denial of a ministerial berth to Jagadish Shettar, a senior leader from north Karnataka, was one of the causes.

Another reason is the demand from those already sworn in for key portfolios like home, public works, energy, mines, irrigation and urban development, the sources said.

The ministry making problem is likely to be discussed with BJP’s central leaders in New Delhi Sunday by Yeddyurappa and Sadananda Gowda who will be there to attend the party’s national executive meeting.

Shettar, a four-time legislator from Dharwad district, is insisting on a ministerial berth and has rejected the assembly speaker’s post offered to him.

His supporters in the twin cities of Hubli-Dharwad Friday set on fire a bus and damaged several others protesting denial of a minister’s post to him.

Shettar has rebuffed efforts to persuade him to accept the speaker’s post and stuck to his stand Saturday.

Besides Shettar, at least two other legislators, Shankaralinge Gowda from Mysore and Narayanaswamy from Anekal on Bangalore’s outskirts, are also upset at denial of a place in the party’s first ministry anywhere in south India.

Shankaralinge Gowda’s supporters demonstrated in Mysore while Narayanswamy backers organised a shutdown in Anekal Saturday. Both have been elected to the assembly for the fourth time.

Sadananda Gowda was, however, confident that the crisis created over denial of ministerial berths to these three leaders would be resolved in a couple of days.

In another development, Governor Rameshwar Thakur declined to address the joint session of the legislature till Yeddyurappa wins the trust vote.

A delegation of the newly sworn in ministers and newly appointed advocate general Uday Holla met Thakur late Friday night requesting him to address the joint session but he declined to do so, the party sources said.

Sadanada Gowda Saturday criticised Thakur for his refusal. “The governor is constitutionally bound to address the session called after a new government takes over,” he told reporters.

At its first meet after taking oath, the cabinet decided to convene the 225-member assembly June 4 for a three-day session.

The first day will be devoted to newly elected members taking oath. The speaker’s election will be on June 5 and the last day Yeddyurappa will seek the trust vote.

The BJP was against seeking the trust vote but is doing so on Thakur’s insistence.

“We have the majority with us and election of the speaker will prove it. Where is the need for another trust vote?” Sadananda Gowda asked.

Yeddyurappa, however, said he decided to seek the trust vote June 6 and will stick to it.

On the second day in office Yeddyurappa announced a compensation of Rs.200,000 to the families of 25 people killed in an accident near Arakalgud in Hassan district, about 180 km from here, on Thursday.

Yeddyurappa went to Hassan Saturday to console the bereaved families and meet the injured. The accident took place when the lorry in which over 100 people were travelling for a wedding feast overturned and fell into a 20-foot-deep ditch.

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