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Caste Politics: Did BJP Take Sweet Revenge Over Cong With These Karnataka Ministers in New Cabinet?

DV Sadananda Gowda, who was a member of the Modi cabinet earlier, Pralhad Joshi, a four-time MP from Dharwad and Suresh Angadi, four-time MP from Belgaum took oath in a star-studded ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:May 30, 2019, 11:44 PM IST
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Caste Politics: Did BJP Take Sweet Revenge Over Cong With These Karnataka Ministers in New Cabinet?
DV Sadananda Gowda, who was a member of the Modi cabinet earlier, Pralhad Joshi, a four-time MP from Dharwad and Suresh Angadi, four-time MP from Belgaum took oath in a star-studded ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday.
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Bengaluru: When the BJP was in the Opposition during the Siddaramaiah-led Congress regime in Karnataka, the party accused the government of being uncaring about three communities — the Gowdas, the Lingayats and the Brahmins.

It was Leader of Opposition Jagadish Shettar who took this up in the Assembly and alleged that files related to the 'GeLeBhi' communities were being kept aside, while only those related to Dalits and OBCs were cleared immediately. Siddaramaiah, a prominent leader of the Kuruba community that is identified as an OBC, was accused of being partial towards OBCs, Dalits and minorities.

Today, Karnataka's share in the Union Cabinet seems to be a form of sweet revenge on this factor. DV Sadananda Gowda, who was a member of the last Modi cabinet as well, Pralhad Joshi, a four-time MP from Dharwad, and Suresh Angadi, four-time MP from Belgaum, took oath in a star-studded ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday.

With this, the BJP has included a Gowda, a Lingayat and a Brahmin in the cabinet. Both Gowdas (Vokkaligas) and Lingayats are dominant communities in Karnataka, while the Lingayats have been a major vote-bank for the BJP for over a decade now. The BJP's state president BS Yeddyurappa is the tallest leader from this community. He has been able to garner a huge vote-share from this community over the years.

Asked about the caste combination and the final list of ministers, Shettar, however, said this caste matrix from Karnataka has nothing to do with the issues he had raised in the Assembly.

"You have to look at this from the national perspective," he told News18, while adding the representation given to dominant communities should not be mistaken for any neglect of backward communities.

"It is possible that Dalits and backward communities in Karnataka have not got an opportunity. But they have certainly been represented from other regions of the country. This is a Cabinet built from a national perspective," Shettar said.

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