CP Yogeshwar's Induction in Karnataka Cabinet Raises Eyebrows as Discontent Brews Over Expansion
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala along with Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and newly inducted ministers during the oath-taking ceremony, at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru, Wednesday, January 13, 2021. (Image: PTI)
Chakkere Puttamadegowda Yogeshwar was among the first of the 7 new ministers to take oath and be inducted into the BS Yediyurappa Cabinet on Wednesday. Yogeshwar was already given the green signal on Tuesday and assured of a berth by the chief minister himself.
But his induction has ruffled quiet a few feathers within the BJP. For one, the cases against him are only piling up. Recently, the Karnataka High Court imposed an exemplary cost of Rs 21,000 in cases relate to the Vajragiri township project, which was launched by Yogeshwar as MD of Megacity Developers. The case dates back to 2014 and is also being probed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). Yogeshwar had also sought to quash the case against him.
Just before his induction, a few more skeletons tumbled out of the closet. "He has already been prosecuted under the Companies Act and disqualified by a judicial order for fraudulently taking 3 different DIN numbers under false names. A fine of Rs 60 lakh has already been imposed too.
"For a person who is not qualified to be nominated as an MLC, they are making him a minister. The same government which is prosecuting him will make him a minister. On what grounds?" questioned advocate AS Ponnanna, KPCC legal cell.
Why then did the BJP still go ahead and give him a ministerial berth? There are speculations that Yogeshwar is being rewarded for being the backbone during the alleged operation Kamala and for successfully luring the JDS-Congress MLAs, which eventually led to the collapse of the coalition government. And so, while Yediyurappa is keeping his promise of rewarding the turncoat MLAs he also needs to keep his loyalists closer.
58-year-old Yogeshwar, a vokkalinga from Channapatna, is a nominated member to the Karnataka Legislative Council. According to his 2013 affidavit, he had declared 39 cases against him including charges related to cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.
AH Vishwanath, another rebel JDS MLA, said that he was highly disappointed in the chief minister for choosing Yogeshwar despite his criminal past.
"Yogeshwar is a fraud. There are so many criminal cases against him. He has cheated many in real estate and today he's a minister. It was not long ago that he (Yogeshwar) was carrying our bags when we resigned as MLAs. Yogeshwar has done nothing to become a minister," Vishwanath added.