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‘Rebel’ ministers to meet central leaders

Bengaluru

As uncertainty continues over the much-awaited cabinet expansion, new entrants into the BJP who were made ministers after the 2019 bypolls have decided to meet Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and party central leadership to demand ministerial berths to other members of the group that helped the party form the government in the state last year.

During a dinner meeting in Bengaluru on Friday night, the ministers are said to have discussed the delay in cabinet expansion and decided to put up a united front to ensure that all those who resigned from Assembly membership last year to join the BJP are made ministers. “We have decided to meet the CM and also central leaders in Delhi after December 5,” said a leader who attended the meeting.

“It was an informal get-together to discuss political developments. It was not against the CM or the party,” clarified the leader. Ministers B C Patil, S T Somashekar, Shivaram Hebbar, Byrati Basavaraj and others said to have attended the meeting. Sources said that the ministers concluded that the government should keep its promise of giving cabinet berths to all the new entrants.

While 10 of them were made ministers after the bypolls last year, N Munirathna, who won from RR Nagar in Bengaluru with a big margin during the recent bypoll, and MLCs MTB Nagaraj, R Shankar and Vishwanath are all ministerial aspirants.

Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi projecting himself as the head of the group and pitching for ministerial berths for these aspirants seem not to have gone down well with the group. They have decided to meet the central leaders and the CM themselves to take up the case on behalf of other members of the group.

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