The disappointment over being excluded in the BS Yediyurappa cabinet or being denied portfolio of their choice was taken to the Karnataka legislative assembly by MLAs on Thursday with at least two either taking a potshot at their own party or refusing to stand up for a colleague.
During the question hour in the assembly, BJP MLA Appachu Ranjan was seen questioning his own party. Ranjan had raised a question on pollution in Cauvery river. However, he raised a concern over the answer given to the legislators.
"The answer does not have the sign of the minister holding the relevant portfolio. How do I accept this answer? If there is no minister signature on this, does that mean he is not the concerned minister? Or is there a plan to change portfolios," asked Ranjan, targeting minister CP Yogeshwar.
Yogeshwar then stood up to answer the question stating that he would ensure the water is not polluted and required action would be taken for the same.
Appachu Ranjan, MLA representing the Madikeri assembly constituency in Kodagu district, had disapproved MLC Yogeshwar's inclusion in the cabinet. The five-time MLA had alleged that Yogeshwar had indulged in anti-party activity in the byelections to Hunsur assembly constituency where turncoat AH Vishwanath had contested on a BJP ticket.
In another instance during the session, Congress MLA Priyank Kharge asked minister MTB Nagaraj why there was a need to bring an amendment to the Karnataka Municipalities Act. Nagaraj, who was recently given the portfolio of municipal administration, could not give a quick and clear answer when Speaker directed senior ministers to explain.
Meanwhile, minister Madhuswamy, who was the law and parliamentary affairs minister, openly refused. He was the voice of the government in the assembly. He was stripped of these portfolios along with minor irrigation during the recent portfolio reshuffle and given Kannada and Culture and medical education instead.
Minister Jagadish Shettar had to then come to the rescue of MTB Nagaraj, one of the 16 Congress-JDS MLAs who jumped ship during the previous coalition government leading to its fall and rise of the BJP to power.
The voice of dissent turned louder in January second week when BS Yediyurappa expanded his cabinet for the third time. Several senior leaders had expressed displeasure with the decision to include mostly turncoats, ignoring the party loyalists. These BJP MLAs like Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, who has constantly criticized Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Sathish Reddy, Arvind Bellad, Appachu Ranjan were among thirty-odd members who were absent to a dinner meeting called by the Chief Minister at his official residence. Madhusamy too was not present.