Ending days of speculations, D V Sadananda Gowda, the newly-appointed chief minister of Karnataka, ruled out the possibility of a deputy chief minister. He said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leadership was not in favour of it.
Gowda, who was in Delhi for the first time to meet senior BJP leaders after his swearing-in, said G Karunakara Reddy and G Janardhana Reddy who were indicted in the recent Lokayukta report on illegal mining would not be part of the Karnataka Cabinet this time.
After holding detailed discussions with the BJP leadership, Gowda said none of the BJP-led states had a deputy chief minister and the central leadership did not to mak an exception for Karnataka. The chief minister discussed plans to expand his 21-member Cabinet. There are 34 Cabinet berths in Karnataka.
“I am not the only one to take decisions on all these things. The central leaders are there and members of my state unit are also there. I will implement all directions given by the central leadership after discussing it with my state party members,” said Gowda.
Gowda was nominated to the chief minister’s post through secret voting when former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa was forced to step down by the BJP after he was indicted in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining in the state. Gowda is believed to be close to Yeddyurappa and was hand-picked by him to replace him.
Riddled with factionalism during the secret voting, Jagadish Shettar was promoted by senior leader Ananth Kumar and Karnataka BJP president KS Eshwarappa against Gowda. However, after coming to power in the state, Gowda now hopes that there would be further tussle within the party.
“I have been the BJP president in Karnataka for four years and there were differences then also. I was able to resolve everything then and now a similar situation has come. Everyone can be rest assured that all these issues will be solved,” Gowda added.
In his maiden visit as the chief minister, Gowda also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P Chidambaram.