Bengaluru: Defectors return to Bommai’s cabinet. After nearly a week-long uncertainty over their future in the dispensation of new Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, the group of MLAs who had defected from Congress and the JD-S to the BJP and become ministers in the B.S. Yediyurappa government, were again sworn-in as ministers, barring Shrimant Patil and R. Shankar.
Karnataka’s richest politician, M.T.B. Nagaraj, who had openly threatened that he would rebel against Bommai if he wasn’t made a minister, arrived in style in his plush Rolls Royce car to be sworn-in.
He said that he was happy that the BJP had kept its promise made to those who had quit their party and joined the it in 2019.
M. Muniratna, who too had quit Congress to join the BJP, was also accommodated and said that he had been made a minister for remaining loyal to the BJP ever since he joined it.
“I am happy that my party recognized me. I have been a loyal party worker of this party. Our leaders finally recognized my contributions to the party and rewarded me with this post,” he said.
B.C. Patil also told reporters that he was very happy to be re-inducted into the cabinet. “Despite media writing me off throughout the crisis, our leaders have chosen to reward me with a post, which makes me happier. I was very happy with the Agriculture Minister’s post, but it is the prerogative of the CM to give any ministry he deems fit for calibre,” he said.
BJP’s Bengaluru strongman, R. Ashoka told reporters that he had never aspired to become Deputy Chief Minister and never lobbied for the post. “I have been a RSS worker for so many years and know how our party and leader think on such critical issues, therefore, I did not lobby for Deputy CM post which had been highlighted in media during weeklong cabinet expansion exercise,” he said.
Ashoka had been integral part of the BJP’s cabinet whenever the party has come to power in the state and he also played vital role in sequestering 17 Congress-JD-S legislators in Mumbai in 2019 before the Congress and JD-S coalition government crumbled due to the defections.