Ministry Formation – Comments

Earlier today, I wrote about some theoretical aspects regarding ministry formation – talking about incentivising, regional/community balance, etc. Here are some pertinent observations about the ministry itself.

  • There have been some rumblings about three leaders from Bellary (two Reddy brothers and Sriramulu) who have less than ten years in the party have been accommodated. My argument is that these guys have built up a whole base for the party from scratch. Bellary was a zero district for the BJP till 1999, when Sonia contested from there. From that kind of a situation to practically sweeping the state does take some kind of effort. Apart from Bellary, the trio are supposed to have been a big factor in the Gadag sweep too. I think the reward is fair. The only thing is that these guys should be kept far away from the Mines and Geology portfolio – so that there is no conflict of interest.
  • A number of districts have gone without representation, including a number of strong BJP districts – as I’d pointed out earlier today. Shankar Linge Gowda (4 time MLA from one of the Mysore constituencies) definitely deserved a berth, as did of course Jagdish Shettar. Nothing can be helped about some 5 districts in South Karnataka where the BJP didn’t open its account. But all other districts need their share. Bidar was supposed to be represented by Basavaraj Patil Attur, but somehow he disappeared at the last minute. Also, there is no representative from Mainland Tumkur (the only representative of the district is an independent from Pavagada, which is just an island surrounded by Andhra on all sides).
  • Apart from Shankar Linge Gowda and Jagadish Shettar, a number of other three and four-time winners have been denied, whose supporters have promptly rioted. There is A Narayanswamy of Anekal and Yogish Bhat of Mangalore South. There is also Appachu Ranjan of Coorg. The last named was probably left out since Coorg contributes just two seats. Yogish Bhat and Narayanswamy lost out in the caste calculations, I think. Narayanswamy was also not helped by the fact that he’s from Bangalore
  • Most of the independents supporting the BJP are SC/STs. This has crowded out SC/STs from the party. They have still given ministries to three SCs (Limbavali, Karjol, Revu Naik) and one ST (Sriramulu) but people, especially Narayanswamy, are not happy. The BJP has worked hard to gain acceptance among these communities. It should be careful not to lose it all now.
  • Bangalore has 6 people in the ministry. And there’s Katta Subramanya Naidu who is yet to join. One reason why Bangalore numbers look bloated is because two MLAs from here – Arvind Limbavali and Shobha Karandlaje – are not natives of the city, and have moved here only for elections. Again, because of this, other local Bangalore? guys have got crowded out. However, the presence of a number of first time MLAs from helps – they need not be given anything just yet.
  • Another problem with the BJP is that the community composition of its top leadership doesn’t reflect the community composition of the state – they have too many Brahmins and Lingayats. Hence, they won’t be able to follow the strict community quota rules that the Krishna and Deve Gowda governments followed.
  • The new real estate lobby that has been instrumental in these elections hasn’t got anything in terms of ministry (I’m talking mainly about Kote Nandish Reddy (K R Puram) and Satish Reddy (Bommanahalli) here).
  • The BJP is lucky that some new entrants such as G T Deve Gowda and Benki Mahadevu lost, else they would’ve been sure shots for ministries. That would’ve taken the number of new entrants to an unacceptable level – from the point of motivating the cadres.

Anyways, let’s hope that the government somehow survives and lasts its full term. There are a large number of challenges ahead of it, so hopefully they should be able to get over their differences quickly and get down to work.

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