Trouble brews for Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa as rebelling MLAs openly start speaking out about their unhappiness at being kept out of the cabinet during the recent expansion.
Some senior MLAs have said they will be taking their claims to the party's central leadership and seek its intervention as they have felt ignored every time the cabinet is expanded.
Claiming that there are about 14-15 unhappy legislators, the rebels want the entire cabinet to be reconstituted and new faces be given an opportunity once the government completes 20 months in office.
Yediyurappa, who took oath in July 2019, would complete 20 months as CM in March.
While the rebels don't say they want the chief minister to be replaced, they want their grievances addressed and plan to meet soon and take their case to the central high command.
GH Thippareddy, a six-time MLA from Chitradurga in central Karnataka, told reporters on Tuesday that his district has always been neglected.
"I've said this many times before. Our government has come to power thrice, but the same bunch of MLAs become ministers.
Going by their performance, there should be a reshuffle. If you give some others an opportunity, the government and party could gain better reputation and praise. Only then it would be possible to win 150 seats in the next election, as targeted by the party central leadership," the MLA said.
Shivanagouda Naik, another MLA from Raichur, said their demands are justified.
"There are about 14-15 of us MLAs in constant touch with each other over phone. We will meet soon and discuss this. We feel there is nothing wrong in taking our grievances to the central top-brass and place the issue before them," Naik told reporters.
If only every district is given representation, these MLAs would have got an opportunity rightfully, he said.
"We feel fresh criteria must be made on making the cabinet. The overall opinion among us is that those who have enjoyed 20 months in power must be dropped and a new cabinet be formed. There is a need to give an opportunity to new faces, give representation to all districts, give social justice in forming a new cabinet and base it on seniority and party loyalty," he said.
While the dissenters claim they do not have a leader per se among them, they are working collectively to get justice.
Soon after the MLAs made these statements to the media, Yediyurappa engaged in damage control measures and asked one of his trusted ministers to reach out to the dissenters and mollify them.