Siddaramaiah’s cabinet reshuffle unfair to Vokkaligas?

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Siddaramaiah seems to have favoured Lingayats and his own Kuruba community during Cabinet rejig.

Bengaluru: Is Mr Siddaramaiah really the master strategist when it comes to balancing caste equations as is being made out? A careful analysis of the caste composition of the new Cabinet reveals that the balance has tilted in favour of the majority Lingayat community with the Vokkaligas being handed out a raw deal. The Scheduled Castes too have less representation than earlier while the CM’s Kuruba community has been rewarded with a extra berth.

While two Vokkaliga Ministers-Ambarish and Kimmane Ratnakar have made their exit, no one has been inducted from the community in their place. Two Lingayat Ministers – Shyamanur Shivashankarappa and S.R. Patil were dropped but the community has reason to be happy as three Lingayats- S.S. Mallikarjun, Basavaraj Rayareddy and Eshwar Khandre- were inducted. Two SC ministers – Srinivas Prasad and Shivaraj Tangadagi- were dropped with only Priyank Kharge making it to the Cabinet in their place.

The Jain community representative, Abhaychandra Jain, was dropped but no one was inducted from that community. Sources said Vijayanagar MLA M Krishnappa was tipped to be inducted under the Vokkaliga quota. However, Chikaballapur MLA Dr Sudhakar, Yeshwanthpur MLA S.T. Somashekhar and Chennapatna MLA C.P. Yogeshwar too  lobbied hard for the post making it difficult for the high command to arrive at an unanimous choice. Later, it was decided to keep one berth vacant with only 13 ministers inducted.

Seniors like Kagodu Thimmappa, Ramesh Kumar, Basavaraj Rayareddy and H.Y. Meti made it this time to replace veterans like Srinivas Prasad, Ambarish, Quamar Ul Islam and Baburao Chinchansur.

The only one to make a comeback was mining baron Santosh Lad, who had resigned after allegations of illegal mining were levelled against him. Those who have been accorded Cabinet rank are Kagodu Thimmappa, Ramesh Kumar, Basavaraj Rayareddy, H.Y. Meti, Tanvir Sait, S.S. Mallikarjun, M.R. Seetharam, Santhosh Lad and Ramesh Jarkiholi. Priyank Kharge, Rudrappa Lamani, Pramod Madhwaraj and Eshwar Khandre will be ministers of state.

Barring Mr Siddaramaiah, there was no other minister from the Kuruba community and so Mr H.Y. Meti was inducted. The only minister who seems to have been inducted without taking into account the caste factor, is Santosh Lad.

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