Bangalore: Halady's Name was Never Under Consideration, says Eshwarappa
From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore
Bangalore, Jul 13: Even as a disappointed and angry Kundapur BJP MLA Halady Srinivasa Shetty made a futile bid to submit his resignation letter to Karnataka Legislative Assembly Secretary Omprakash following the denial of ministerial berth, the newly appointed Deputy Chief Minister and State BJP President K S Eshwarappa claimed that the name of three-time popular MLA from the coastal Udupi district was never under consideration.
Answering questions from reporters after he performed puja to formally occupy his office in Vidhana Soudha after being sworn in on Thursday, Eshwarappa made it categorically clear that Shetty's name ''did not figure at all in the discussions with the Central leaders.”
''Who promised him that he would be inducted into the Jagadish Shettar cabinet?,” asked Eshwarappa and pointed out that none of the State leaders or the Central leaders had held out any promises to the Kundapur MLA.
''I want to make it very clear that I have not held out any promise to Halady. Even the chief minister Jagadish Shettar has not promised. I know that the Central leaders have not given any promise to anybody on the cabinet formation,” he said adding: ''I don’t know who gave the promise and invited the MLA to come to Bangalore.”
Though he was a three-time MLA, Shetty himself had not aspired for ministerial berth, Eshwarappa claimed.
The State BJP Chief, however, refused to speak on the reported telephonic advice by outgoing chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda to Shetty to immediately rush to Bangalore for the swearing in ceremony as the latter's name had been finalized.
''Surprised by TV Reports”
Eshwarappa merely claimed that he had no information and would not like to comment on media reports. ''In fact, it was a surprise to see on TV channels that Shetty's name had been finalized,” he said.
He, however, did not see anything wrong if newspapers had mentioned Shetty's name among the probables as he is a third term MLA.
Disappointed with the party leadership and denying him the Cabinet berth, Shetty has decided to tender resignation to the membership of the Legislative Assembly.
When Shetty went to meet the Legislative Assembly Secretary Omprakash to hand over his resignation letter, the latter refused to accept it and suggested that the MLA should meet the Speaker K G Bopaiah.
Shetty, who was accompanied by Udupi BJP MLA Raghupathy Bhat, said he had already spoke to Bopaiah, who had gone to his native Madikeri. ''I will submit the resignation letter to the Speaker when he returns to Bangalore on Monday,” he declared stating that he was firm in decision to quit.
The party president claimed that all intra-party differences were resolved after Thursday's swearing in ceremony.
Revolt Brewing in Party
Meanwhile, other disgruntled BJP MLAs, including Suresh Gowda and Belur Gopalakrishna, staunch loyalists of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, and former minister G Karunakar Reddy, are also contemplating their action and reportedly planning to rebel against the party leadership.
However, Eshwarappa said the new State party president would be nominated soon following his induction as a deputy chief minister.
Defends Puttaswamy's Induction
Eshwarappa strongly defeneded the induction of another Yeddyurappa loyalist, B J Puttaswamy, who had been recently elected as MLC, as a minister and said the decision was taken in the interest of the party.
He said the party has suspended Puttaswamy for filing nominations against the official candidate of the party during the elections to the Rajya Sabha from the Legislative Assembly.
The suspension was later revoked following his satisfactory reply to the notice served to him.
He said the party high command, senior leaders of the party and former Chief Ministers recommended name of Puttaswamy and therefore he was inducted in to the Cabinet.
A few loyalists of Yeddyurappa expressed their anger for giving the Cabinet berth to Puttaswamy while loyal party MLAs were ignored.
Muslims Demand Representation
Incidentally, a group of Muslims under the banner of State Muslim Rights Demand Committee and Dalit Hindulida Alpasankhyatara Samiti arrived in a procession to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar's Home Office and demanded representation for Muslims in his ministry.
In a memorandum presented to Shettar, the protestors said that 50 per cent of the cabinet posts had been cornered Lingayats and Vokkaligas, who constitute just 32 per cent of the population, while 10 per cent had been given to Brahmins. Not a single Muslim finds a place in the cabinet.
The protestors said that the former Chief Minister Yeddyurappa had assured representation to Muslims in 2008 and had inducted Mumtaz Ali Khan. ''But Muslims had been denied ministerial berth, which was unacceptable,” the memorandum said.