Bengaluru | Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Saturday hit out at Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa for the “delay” in cabinet expansion and alleged that the administrative machinery has come to a standstill.
The Congress Legislature Party leader sought to know whether the Governor, who sent “letter after letter” to the previous government to prove majority, was not aware of the “plight of the people” under a one-man cabinet in the state where different regions were reeling from drought and floods.
“Administrative machinery has come to a standstill. Is this a democracy or dictatorship?” Siddaramaiah said on Twitter.
“Why Yediyurappa who showed hurry in taking oath as the chief minister was not showing similar hurry in expanding the cabinet? People of the state are in distress due to drought and floods in different parts,” he said.
BJP leader Yediyurappa assumed charge as the chief minister on July 26 and proved majority on the floor of the Assembly on July 29, after the ouster of the Congress-JD(S) government.
Siddaramaiah pointed out that there are no ministers for revenue, agriculture and rural development departments, which have to deal with drought and floods.
“Is the Governor who sent letter after letter (to previous Kumaraswamy-led government) to prove majority, not aware of the plight of the people of the state under one man cabinet with no ministers?” he asked.
As the H D Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition government “delayed” the trust vote after moving a motion seeking vote of confidence in the Assembly, Governor Vajubhai Vala had written two letters to the then chief minister and one to the then Speaker fixing deadline to prove majority, which, however, was not adhered to.
Subsequently, the Kumaraswamy government collapsed with the defeat in the trust vote on July 23.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao too questioned the delay in Cabinet expansion and said the administration in the state has not taken off.
“It has been eight days since taking oath as Chief Minister, still council of Ministers has not been formed, and such possibilities are also not visible. It looks like Yediyurappa is in mood to continue the regime under his monopoly for some more time,” Rao tweeted.
Amid criticism from the opposition and pressure within on cabinet formation, Yediyurappa had on Friday said he would discuss it with the central leadership during his visit to Delhi next week.
According to top sources in the state BJP, the Cabinet expansion may take five to six days, as it can happen only after the chief minister gets approval from central leaders.
Only 10 to 12 members are likely to be inducted into the ministry in the first round, they said.
It is likely to be a tight rope walk for Yediyurappa who will have to satisfy the aspirations of many in the party and outside. With the then Speaker Ramesh Kumar disqualifying 14 Congress and 3 JD(S) legislators until the expiry of the term of the House, they cannot contest by-polls and become Ministers immediately, unless they get respite from the Supreme Court, where they have moved an appeal.
The resignation by the rebels MLAs and their abstaining from Kumaraswamy’s trust vote had made way for the BJP to come to power.
Meanwhile, disqualified Congress legislator K Sudhakar met Yediyurappa here on Saturday.
Later, Sudhakar said he had come to congratulate Yediyurappa on becoming the chief minister and discussed developmental works to be undertaken in his Chikkaballapura constituency.
He said he was upset with the functioning of the previous coalition government. “I will discuss with my people on the next course of action. I will go by their order,” he said.
He criticised the Congress and former Speaker Ramesh Kumar for disqualifying the MLAs and termed it “immoral”, “inhuman” and “unlawful”.
“We have approached the Supreme Court challenging the disqualification, and have complete trust in it,” he added.
Congress and JD(S) have both expelled disqualified legislators from their respective parties and have begun preparations for by-polls in 17 constituencies.