Discontent in Karnataka again: CM Bommai says things under control

The newly appointed Chief Minister had expanded his cabinet last week, by inducting 29 ministers and allocated portfolios two days back

Bommai took oath as chief minister on July 28, following the resignation of his predecessor BS Yediyurappa | File Photo: PTI 

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said that there is absolutely no confusion regarding cabinet expansion, though a couple of ministers have openly expressed their unhappiness.

The Chief Minister had expanded his cabinet last week, by inducting 29 ministers and had allocated portfolios to them on Saturday (August 7).

Bommai said on Monday (August 9) that he would talk to all those who have issues and will resolve them.

Amid simmering discontent within the party with several ministerial aspirants not making it to the cabinet and some of those who have made it, being unhappy over the portfolios allocated to them, the Chief Minister pointed out that the cabinet exercise has been carried in a “special circumstance”.

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“There are no confusions (regarding portfolio allocation)…Anand Singh (disgruntled Minister) had come yesterday, I have spoken to him…he is satisfied. I will call him in a couple of days and speak to him once again. There is no confusion in any way,” Bommai said.

To a question on “native” BJP leaders like S A Ramadas from the district being unhappy over not being part of the Ministry, he said, “He is a good friend, I was in touch with him during the cabinet process. I will talk to him. He too is aware of several matters and how it (cabinet exercise) was done.” ”As a senior politician he has understood that the cabinet expansion has taken place in a special circumstance. I will speak to him, everything will be resolved,” he added.

At least two ministers – Anand Singh and M T B Nagaraj- have openly expressed displeasure about their portfolios, while there are several legislators who are sulking on not being inducted into the cabinet.

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Meanwhile, Bommai said he has accepted his predecessor B S Yediyurappa’s request to withdraw the government’s order granting him Cabinet-rank minister status. “I have accepted it, he (Yediyurappa) has sent a letter yesterday. He has said that he doesn’t want a position equivalent to a Cabinet Minister. We have accepted it and will provide him facilities that should be given to immediate past chief ministers,” he said.

The government on Saturday issued an order providing Yediyurappa all facilities on par with Cabinet-rank ministers and had said that it will be applicable until Bommai is in office as the Chief Minister.

Expressing confidence about getting approval for the Detailed Project Report (DPR) on Mekedatu project across river Cauvery, the Chief Minister in response to a question said he will be visiting Delhi to discuss the project with the union Minister concerned and inform about the facts and Supreme Court orders.

Bommai said he will also hold a meeting with the state’s legal team along with Water Resources Minister Govind Karjol regarding the legal steps to be taken to exercise the state’s right over excess water in the Cauvery basin. “We have already submitted the DPR to the central government, to the Central Water Commission (CWC) and they have said that they will give approval to it soon. There are certain process, once that is completed I’m confident about getting the approval,” he said, adding that state will take all the necessary steps to start the project.

Accusing Tamil Nadu of playing politics on the water issue, Bommai said there are parties there, who have gained power on the issue of Cauvery water. ”They always continue to play politics on the issue, but it should be kept in mind that the river is for the benefit of the people and farmers and not for politics,” he added.

Mekedatu is a multipurpose (drinking and power) project, which involves building a balancing reservoir, near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district. Tamil Nadu is against the project and is of the opinion that it is against its interests.

The project once completed is aimed at ensuring drinking water to Bengaluru and neighboring areas (4.75 TMC) and also can generate 400 MW power, and the estimated cost of the project is Rs 9,000 crore.

(With inputs from agencies)

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