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3 K’taka Min face axe in shuffle
Bangalore, Sept 21 (IANS):
Published on 22 Sep. 2010 12:34 AM IST
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Three ministers will be dropped and six inducted in the Karnataka cabinet, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief K.S. Eshwarappa announced amid chaotic developments in the ruling party ahead of a cabinet shuffle. ‘Three ministers will be dropped and the existing three vacancies will be filled,’ Eshwarappa told reporters.
Legislators denied cabinet berth blasted the party for ignoring loyal workers.
‘Only ‘lafangeys’ (loafers), thieves, liars and land grabbers have a place in this party and not honest workers,’ a four-time BJP legislator from Mysore, H.S. Shankaralinge Gowda, said after Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyyurappa told him he was helpless and could not make him a minister.
The powerful mining barons and ministers, the Reddy bothers, too stepped in to protect their loyalists from being dropped from the ministry that assumed office in May 2008.
‘The core committee which is to take important decisions on party and governance matters has not been called to discuss the cabinet shuffle,’ state Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy, who is a member of the panel, told reporters.
The core committee was set up as part of the compromise formula to please the Reddy brothers who had revolted against Yeddyurappa in October-November last year.
Though Eshwarappa and Yeddyurappa said the list of those to be dropped and included will be known only late Tuesday, speculation is that two among the three facing the axe are Reddy loyalists. They are state Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Goolihatti Shekar, an Independent legislator who Monday threatened suicide if axed, and Mass Education and Public Libraries minister K. Shivanagouda Naik, rewarded with cabinet berth for crossing over to BJP last year from Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).
Karunakara Reddy and his more vocal younger brother Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy asserted that the party should not go back on promises made to the five Independents and those who quit Congress and JD-S to join BJP to give the party majority in the state assembly. The five Independents are ministers and over half a dozen who switched sides in the last year have also been rewarded with cabinet berths.
Though the threat of 20 legislators resigning if Belur Gopalakrishna, an assembly member from Shimoga, was not made a minister, fizzled out Tuesday, the Mysore legislator Shankaralinge Gowda did not mince words in lashing out at his party.
The cabinet shuffle will take place at 9.30 a.m. Wednesday, Yeddyurappa told reporters as he met the legislators and their supporters in groups to win their backing for his plan.

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