The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to appoint two new additional deputy chief ministers (CMs) in Karnataka.
According to sources, the Karnataka Government plans to have 5 deputy chief ministers in the State. Recently, B.S. Yediyurappa, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, expanded his Cabinet and appointed 3 Deputy CMs.
The reason to appoint additional deputy CMs is said to be the need to balance the caste equation in the State. The BJP is expected to induct two more deputy CMs from the Kuruba and Dalit communities. The appointment from varied castes will help the BJP to maintain a balance and will also attract votes from these communities.
A source close to the BJP, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “Ramesh Jarkiholi (former member of the Indian National Congress) is from the Valmiki Nayak community and so is B. Sriramulu, who has traditionally been with the BJP. Since Ramesh’s brother Balachandra Jarkiholi was made the head of Karnataka Milk Federation, the party is now mulling over whether it would be too risky to just allot Ramesh a cabinet berth or if he has to be made the Deputy CM. With A.H. Vishwanath, it is much easier as he can be offered a cabinet berth instead of making him the Deputy CM.”
The BJP source further added, “There are too many equations to solve. First would be to assure the rebels who want to join (the) BJP that the promises will be met. The second, more important one, is to get rid of the perception that the Ahinda (Minorities, OBCs and Dalits) are traditional vote banks of the Congress. Appointing a Deputy CM each from the Kuruba and Dalit community may be the first step.”
As of now, the Karnataka Government has 3 Deputy CMs, Govind Karloj from a Scheduled Caste (SC,) Laxman Savadi from the Lingayat community and C.N. Ashwath Narayan from the Vokkaliga community.
The delay in the induction of the remaining Cabinet Ministers is said to be due to the pending judgement of the Supreme Court (SC) regarding the rebel Member of the Legislative Assembly. Approximately 15 Rebel MLAs quit the Janata Dal Secular (JD[S]) and the Indian National Congress (INC) coalition, due to which, the BJP came to power in the State.
However, an official announcement regarding the induction of two more Deputy CMs is yet to be made.
Stay tuned for further updates.