Karnataka's new cabinet is yet to take shape as the process of allocation of portfolios is turning out to be a herculean task for Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai as newly sworn in ministers are eying plum postings.
Though Bommai announced that the allocation of portfolios will be known in a day or two after the swearing-in ceremony, party sources confirmed that the exercise will take some more time now.
Bommai, however, claimed that no MLA is pressurising him to allot a specific ministry and he is going to allocate cabinet berths at his discretion. But party insiders say that there is a hectic lobby for plum postings and Bommai has to coordinate with party high command and former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.
Most of the ministers are after irrigation, power, Bengaluru development, home, public works, health, industries, rural development and panchayat raj, revenue, education and social welfare portfolios.
Those who held plum postings in the Yediyurappa government want to continue with their portfolios. On the other hand, the party wants to give responsibilities to new faces to groom them. After denying cabinet berth to Yediyurappa's son Vijayendra, the party will find it difficult to turn down requests from him.
Seeking major portfolios
Bommai is trying to assuage all and convince party high command for allocation of cabinet postings. K.S. Eshwarappa, B. Sriramulu and Dr. Ashwathnarayan C.N., Dr. K.Sudhakar, V. Somanna, R. Ashok all senior BJP leaders are eying for major portfolios. V. Somanna, who held the Housing ministry now wants to take up a bigger role.
Party sources said that the performers in the previous government will retain their portfolios. Umesh Katti, 7th time MLA is hopeful of getting a powerful ministry.
B.C. Patil stated that since he was a policeman, if home ministry was offered he could deliver better. Bommai is expected to keep finance and water resources ministries.
Many are placing demand for Bengaluru development along with urban development ministries. Meanwhile, senior leader Ramesh Jarkiholi has placed a demand for a cash-rich water resources ministry for his brother BJP MLA Balachandra Jarakiholi, sources in the party say. After being snubbed by the party in the first phase of cabinet expansion, Jarkiholi brothers are hopeful of getting a cabinet berth in the second phase.
Bommai is expected to crack the juggernaut of cabinet portfolio allocation by Friday or Saturday.