Appointment of MLAs as heads of boards & corporations leads to discontent in ruling BJP

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Bengaluru, July 27 (PTI) Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa's move on Monday appoint 24 BJP legislators as heads of various boards and corporations led to some openly voicing their displeasure, seeing it as an end to their ministerial aspirations.

The Chief Minister's decision to appoint the MLAs to boards and corporations on the completion of the ruling BJP's one year in office was seen as a move to placate them ahead of possible cabinet expansion next month.

However, realising that these appointments was an end to their ministerial aspirations, several MLAs openly expressed their displeasure in front of the media.

Even as the voices of protest emerged, Yediyurappa later in the day withdrew four names from the list, without citing any reasons.

Speculations are rife that Yediyurappa is looking to expand his cabinet in August, and there are too many aspirants for him to manage.

While several of the old guard are waiting for a chance to be inducted into the Ministry, those who defected from Congress and JD(S) like A H Vishwanath, R Shankar and MTB Nagaraj, who are now BJP MLCs, are also aspiring for berths.

The cabinet currently has 28 members and six berths are still vacant.

Among those to be appointed as heads of boards and corporations were senior MLA Araga Jnanendra to the Karnataka Housing Board, M Chandrappa to Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, Narasimha Nayak to Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board, M P Kumaraswamy to Karnataka Market Consultants & Agencies Ltd, among others.

Soon after the list of appointments was out, several legislators expressed their displeasure openly to the media.

Senior party MLA from Chitradurga, G H Thippareddy, who was appointed to the Devaraj Urs Backward Classes Development Corporation, termed it as an 'insult'.

'...I got to know through the media that I have been given a board chairman post...it is not happy news to me. If I have to tell you frankly, it is an insult to me.

I will see what the party decides for me.' Thippareddy pointed out that he had headed the Housing Board way back in 1998 and was at a loss to understand on what basis this decision had been taken.

'It is the Chief Minister's discretion.. I will work for the constituency.

It looks like being in politics for 40-50 years and being a six time MLA is the only accomplishment,' he said sarcastically.

Questioned about his appointment, another BJP MLA M P Kumaraswamy from Mudigere said he would not accept any board or corporation post and would work for the constituency.

Hassan MLA Preetham Gowda, while thanking Yediyurappa for appointing him to the Jungle Lodges and Resort Limited, requested him to give the post to someone who wants to be head of a board or corporation.

MLAs like Siddu Savadi, Dattatraya Patil Revoor, Neharu Olekar, among others, appointed to boards and corporations, have reportedly decided to meet Yediyurappa.

As the voices of discontent came out in the open, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said the Chief Minister would look into it.

'Each one (MLAs) will have different expectations. CM will look into it and resolve it by giving (positions) appropriately,' he said.

The Chief Minister later in the day withdrew the appointment of Thippareddy, who had strongly expressed discontent, and three others.

They include Paranna Eshwarappa Munavalli, who was appointed to Karnataka State Financial Corporation, Lalaji R Mendon- who was appointed to Karnataka State Backward Classes Commission and Basavaraj Dadesugur to Karnataka State Social Welfare Board.

While Mendon's appointment is said to have been withdrawn for technical reasons, the reasons for the other two is not yet clear. PTI KSU APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH