Bengaluru, Jan 13 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Wednesday said that he has forwarded seven legislators’ names to Governor Vajubhai Vala, including that of four-time MLA and sugar baron Murugesh Nirani, and six-time MLA from Sullia constituency S. Angara.
During his short interaction with media prior to attending the state Cabinet meeting here, Yediyurappa said that he had sent seven names – Umesh Katti, Aravind Limbavali, M.T.B. Nagaraj, R. Shankar, C.P. Yogeshwara, Murugesh Nirani and S. Angara – who will be administered the oath of secrecy by the Governor at 3:50 p.m. in Raj Bhavan.
According to the sources, Katti had been picked up by the party leaders under Lingayat quota, Limbavali had been rewarded for his planning and execution in toppling the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, C.P. Yogeshwara too got his berth as a reward for working in tandem with Yediyurappa and his team to topple the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka.
Nagaraj and Shankar who had defected along with 17 legislators in 2019, were almost certain to make it to Cabinet. Shankar had not only defected but also allowed the ruling BJP to field its candidate from Ranebennur seat which he had won as an independent in 2018.
Sources added that Nagaraj who is billed as Karnataka’s richest politician, was rewarded the berth despite his defeat in the bypolls that took place after he defected from the Congress.
He was defeated by BJP MP B.N. Bacche Gowda’s son, Sharat Bacche Gowda, as an independent. Bacche Gowda and Nagaraj are from traditional rival political families who do not leave any stone unturned to retain their stranglehold on Hosakote Assembly constituency and they have been acrimoniously fighting polls against each other for several decades now.
In a real sense, four-time legislator and former industries minister Nirani, a sugar baron and industrialist from Bagalkot district and six-time BJP legislator and Sangh Parivar loyalist S. Angara have emerged as dark horses, belying all speculation that had been doing the rounds for months.
According to sources, this time Sangh leaders from the coastal region had strongly recommended Angara’s case and as a result of this he was selected.