Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa greets the Assembly members at Vidhana Soudha. PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa greets the Assembly members at Vidhana Soudha. PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak

Bengaluru: The scare unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic has not deterred BJP leaders from lobbying for ministerial berths and sending out a veiled warning to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.

Even as the state government is fighting a grim battle against the increasing Covid-19 cases, seven BJP leaders have held multiple closed-door meetings to discuss strategies to procure ministerial berths.

According to sources, Bijapur City MLA Basangouda Patil Yatnal, Hukkeri MLA Umesh Katii, Bilagi MLA Murugesh Nirani and four others met over the last few weeks to discuss strategies to force the Chief Minister to expand his cabinet and accommodate them.

These MLAs are aware that BJP MLAs Renukacharya, SA Ramdas from Mysuru, Arvind Limbavalli from Bengaluru and leaders from Dakshina Kannada are frontrunners for ministerial posts. But the MLAs who met recently have decided to checkmate the CM’s move.

Bijapur MLA Basangouda Patil Yatnal told media persons that Yediyurappa does not have decision-making powers anymore. “Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda are our leaders. Chief Minister Yediyurappa does not have decision-making powers,” he said.

Murugesh Nirani too has been very vocal about his aspiration to become a minister.

The rebellious BJP leaders have taken a stand that if ministerial berths are not granted, they would gather more support to split from the party and defect.

Meanwhile, Karnataka today reported 141 new cases of Covid-19. Of these, Bengaluru Urban had 33 fresh cases, taking the capital city’s total to 336 and remains as the worst affected district.

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