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Dissent Grows in Karnataka BJP After Portfolio Allocation, CM Bommai Tries to Pacify Disgruntled Minister

Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai speaks to reporters at Bengaluru airport.

Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai speaks to reporters at Bengaluru airport.

Anand Singh and cabinet berth aspirant MLA Raju Gowda met BS Yediyurappa on Wednesday to raise their concerns. They will next meet Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Unhappy turncoat ML As continue to haunt the BJP government in Karnataka, days after portfolio allocation was done. After MTB Nagaraj, MLA Anand Singh gave way to speculations by not stepping into his office at Vidhana Soudha for four consecutive days. On Wednesday, Singh flew to Bengaluru for an urgent meeting with former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.

Adding to speculations of his resignation, the ‘MLA office’ board was removed from outside Singh’s office in his constituency — Hosapete — late on Tuesday night.

Anand Singh is one of the 29 ministers in the newly-formed cabinet headed by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. Singh is currently Ecology, Environment and Tourism minister. N Nagaraju (MTB) is minister for Municipal Administration, Small Scale Industries and Public Sector Industries. R Shankar, another BJP MLA also said he was seeking justice for the “sacrifice" he made for this government to come to power.

All three are part of the 17 MLAs who defected from the Congress-JDS leading to its fall in 2019 and BJP, which did not have an absolute majority, coming to power.

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The MTB was the first from the cabinet to publicly express his unhappiness over portfolio allocation, barely two hours after the portfolio allocation. Through Twitter, he said he would soon take a call on his next move. Nagaraju, a former Congress MLA, was a Housing minister in the coalition government. He switched sides to BJP and contested the bypoll on a BJP ticket which he lost. He was made MLC and a minister by former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. Although he had said he wanted a better portfolio, he was given same portfolio along with Small Scale and Public Sector Industries.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he was in touch with the disgruntled MLAs and that all is well.

“Anand Singh is a friend of mine for the last 3 decades. We are in touch constantly. I spoke to him yesterday. Will talk again today. It will all be resolved once he comes and speaks," said Bommai, denying that Singh has given his resignation as MLA.

Anand Singh and cabinet berth aspirant MLA Raju Gowda met BS Yediyurappa on Wednesday to raise their concerns. They will next meet Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. Meanwhile, cabinet berth aspirants Ramesh Jarkiholi, CP Yogeshwar and Renukacharya, too, have made multiple trips to meet BJP leaders at the state and national level.

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first published:August 12, 2021, 10:11 IST