Senior ministers will be given party responsibilities in Karnataka: BJP MLA

Vijayapura MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal says younger, dynamic leaders will join the cabinet

“Most senior ministers in Basavaraj Bommai’s cabinet will be assigned party organisational work. They will be replaced with young legislators who will work as active ministers. All this will happen before Ugadi,” Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, MLA and BJP leader, said in Belagavi.

“I had expected this to happen by Sankranti, in January. But it did not. But these changes are sure to happen by Ugadi, in a few months from now,” the former Union minister told journalists before an executive committee meeting of the Panchamasali Lingayat Sanghatane.

The committee has been demanding re-categorisation of the Panchamasali community into OBC 2A, and is expected to discuss the modes of agitation to be taken up in future.

“The era of B.S. Yediyurappa is over. This applies to some senior members of the cabinet who are not dynamic and pro-people. They should make way for younger, dynamic leaders. They will surely do. The party central leadership is strong enough to ensure this,” the MLA from Vijayapura said.

“I have said there is a need for change in leadership in Karnataka. But I never said Mr. Bommai needs to be changed. That is one of the many ways in which the media wrongly reports my statements,” he said.

Mr. Yatnal denied that establishment of the third Panchamasali Peetha could further weaken the community. The community is well knit and strong. It will not be affected even if there are 100 or 1,000 Peethas and seers. “The aim of Sri Basava Jaya Mrutyunjay Swami, seer of the Kudal Sangama Panchamasali peetha, is not to demand ministership for some leader or to portray some politician as the community leader. The seer has been touring Karnataka demanding 2A status for the community, and nothing else. One more peetha will not affect the community in anyway,” he said.

He had met Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi three times in recent times – twice in Vijayapura and once in Bengaluru. “But they were not to be seen as dissident activities. They were only to discuss how to strengthen the party. They were not about damaging the party. Indications that we may be planning to form a new regional party are baseless. It is pretty stupid to think that I would quit the BJP and form a new party. Ramesh Jarkiholi has also told me that he is not going to do so,” Mr. Yatnal said.

“All those leaders who have tried to divide the community, have lost. We should all remember that. That would be my advice to Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani,” he said.

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