Bangalore / New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar is struggling to allot portfolios to his ministers even after two days of his taking office.
Now there is new trouble for him. Karunakara Reddy, former minister and brother of jailed mining baron G. Janardhana Reddy, held a meeting today in Bangalore which was attended by 20 MLAs from the coastal areas as well as his supporters. They have decided to ask the party leadership to ensure that tainted ministers are removed from Mr Shettar's cabinet as pointed out by the Governor. They will also ask that their grievances be heard.
Mr Reddy, who was keeping a low profile since the arrest of his brother, has become active again and told reporters in Bangalore on Saturday that "all 21 of us will meet in an undisclosed place to take a decision. We will inform you on July 18 or 19."
Trouble for Mr Shettar began when BJP MLA Nagaraj Shetty resigned as the chairman of Coastal Area Development Authority immediately after his swearing in as he was not given a cabinet berth, then two more MLAs from Coastal areas had joined hands with him.
On Saturday, Mr Shettar met BJP's central leaders in New Delhi to seek their help to end the impasse. He met BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and senior leaders L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Murali Manohar Joshi with the list of ministers, the portfolios they were demanding and his suggestions.
Hectic lobbying for plum departments from various factions in the ruling party is delaying portfolio allotment of the BJP's third ministry in four years in the state.
The BJP formed the entire ministry, 34 members including the chief minister, in one go on Thursday hoping to end dissidence that has plagued it ever since it came to power for the first time in the state in May 2008.
Shettar, however, told reporters after the meeting that it was a courtesy call on party leaders after taking office and "there is no confusion over portfolio allocation".
"I came to give a courtesy call to our leaders, and to thank them for making me the chief minister," he said.
"There is no problem (over portfolio allocation), we will discuss with everyone and decide".
He was accompanied by R. Ashoka, one of the two newly-appointed deputy ministers.
Incidentally, the presidential poll is scheduled for July 19, when the state assembly will also start its monsoon session.
Story first published:
July 15, 2012 14:37 IST