The Karnataka government on Saturday issued an order providing former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa all facilities on par with Cabinet-rank ministers. This will be applicable until Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is in office, an official notification from the protocol wing of the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) said.
Yediyurappa, however, on Sunday urged CM Bommai to withdraw his order to give him cabinet rank status. “I request you to provide me only those facilities which are given to an immediate former chief minister and withdraw the order giving me a cabinet rank,” Yediyurappa said in his letter to Bommai, which was made available to the media.
Ending months of speculation over his exit, Yediyurappa on July 26 had stepped down as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, coinciding with his government completing two years in office. Bommai, who succeeded Yediyurapp,a is expected to remain in the post until the next assembly elections in 2023.
Yediyurappa does not hold any official position other than being a MLA from Shikaripura assembly constituency. According to official sources, other than the salary, the cabinet rank minister is entitled to certain allowances and facilities for vehicle, official accommodation, among others.
This is the first time in Karnataka that such a status has been accorded to an ex-CM without him holding a statutory post.
Sources said the status was given mainly to ensure Yediyurappa retains his official bungalow Cauvery, the designated residence of the CM, although he is bound to get an official car to move around besides perks and other allowances.
In the most striking attribute of the Bommai cabinet, Yediyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra was kept out. It was widely rumoured that he would join the cabinet with a plum portfolio. But the high command seems to have vetoed Bommai, who was keen to give a berth to his mentor Yediyurappa’s son to ensure smooth running of the government.
According to insiders, Yediyurappa was firm that his son would join the cabinet. But, he seems to have lost the clout in the party a week after he was forced to step down.
Many of his other loyalists, including MP Renukacharya, SR Vishwanath, H Halappa, have not also been made ministers.
The only consolation for the Lingayat strongman is denial of cabinet berths to three of his sworn enemies in the BJP — Aravind Bellad, CP Yogishwar and BR Patil Yatnal — who had openly revolted against him recently. Bellad was also in the race for the post of chief minister a week ago.