BS Yediyurappa receives flak from BJP colleagues over cabinet expansion
Bengaluru/IBNS: An internal fight has exploded in Karnataka's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with several leaders slamming Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa over a cabinet expansion that is seen to favour his camp heavily.
Facing public attacks from his party's colleagues, Yediyurappa challenged them to take up their complaint with the top leadership.
"If the BJP MLAs have any objection they can go to Delhi, meet our national leaders and give them all the information and complaints they have. I won't object to that but I ask them not to damage the party's reputation by talking ill," the Chief Minister told reporters in Bengaluru.
He added that central BJP leaders would take a call on their complaints.
Some BJP leaders openly accused the Chief Minister of including in his 17-month-old cabinet only those who had "blackmailed" him or were in his inner circle.
"Yediyurappa only considered and appointed those who blackmailed him with a CD and paid huge money to him. Two are been made ministers and one person has been made political secretary after all three used the CD to blackmail him," senior BJP leader Basanagouda R Patil told media.
Patil is among some dozen BJP leaders who are agitated with the CM at being ignored for a cabinet spot and are openly criticising the move.
Other dissenters are H Vishwanath, MP Kumaraswamy, Satish Reddy, Shivanagowda Nayak, Thippareddy and even Mr Yediyurappa's close aide, MP Renukacharya.
On Wednesday, seven new ministers joined the Yediyurappa cabinet - MTB Nagaraj, Umesh Katti, Aravind Limbavali, Murugesh Nirani, R Shankar, CP Yogeshwar and Angara S.
At least three of them - Umesh Katti, Arvind Limbavali and Murugesh Nirani - are seen as Yediyurappa loyalists.