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A ‘strong political message' to Ministers from Bellary

B.S. Satish Kumar

Decision to drop three Ministers from the Cabinet has triggered a crisis



Agitated:Ministers G. Janardhan Reddy, B. Sriramulu, G. Karunakara Reddy, Arvind Limbavali and the former Minister S.K. Bellubbi addressing supporters of Gulihatti D. Shekhar in Bangalore on Tuesday.

BANGALORE: The decision to drop Shivanagouda Nayak and Gulihatti D. Shekhar from the Cabinet is being viewed in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as a “strong political message” to the Bellary Ministers' camp, though this has triggered a political crisis.

Of the three Ministers, who have been dropped, two are followers of the Ministers from Bellary district.

“We have given them a strong message that they cannot continue to dictate terms to the Government and the party,” a senior party functionary told The Hindu.

According to sources, the party had decided to take the Ministers from Bellary head on as they are keeping a low profile in politics in the wake of the Opposition's aggressive campaign against them.

The three Ministers were dropped within hours of the Ministers from Bellary indirectly cautioning against it without discussing the matter at the party's coordination committee meeting.

This enraged Ministers from Bellary G. Karunakara Reddy, G. Janardhana Reddy and B. Sriramulu, who held a meeting of 17 legislators at the residence of Minister Jagadish Shettar. But the speculation is that Mr. Shettar is not keen on leading the battle this time. The party witnessed a rebellion led by the Ministers from Bellary last year end. The crisis then was resolved after the party implemented several conditions, including dropping of the then Minister Shobha Karandlaje. State BJP president K.S. Eshwarappa held a meeting with Mr. Janardhana Reddy on Tuesday night. But he is learnt to have made it clear that there was no question of reversing the decision to drop the Ministers. Political circles are curiously watching the action to be taken by the Ministers from Bellary as they are expected to resist attempts to politically corner them.

Earlier in the day, supporters of disappointed ministerial aspirants and of the Ministers dropped from the Cabinet staged protests at various places, including in front of the official residence of the Chief Minister.

The supporters of MLAs Ravi, Shankaralinge Gowda, Doddappa Gowda and Krishnaiah Shetty staged demonstrations in front of the Chief Minister's residence seeking ministerial berths for their leaders. Another group of MLAs held consultations under the leadership of Minister Renukacharya and decided to pressure the Chief Minister to give ministerial berth to Belur Gopalakrishna, MLA.

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