The choice of Ministers from Belagavi district has raised many eyebrows.
Two-term MLA Shashikala Jolle was chosen over eight-time MLA Umesh Katti. Laxman Savadi, who lost the Assembly polls to Mahesh Kumathalli, was chosen over five-time MLA Balachandra Jarkiholi. Mr. Savadi had caused embarrassment to the party when he was seen watching adult videos during an Assembly session in 2012.
A senior BJP leader said the RSS had played a major role in the selection. The Sangh Parivar leaders rooted for Ms. Jolle as she is a member of the Sahakara Bharati, the RSS affiliated All-India Federation of Cooperative Societies. Senior leaders like Prabhakar Kore also supported her, he said.
“Mr. Savadi was picked as he is influential among the voters in Athani and Kagawad constituencies, where Mr. Kumathalli and Srimanth Patil could face bypolls. Mr. Savadi is also being rewarded for his work in the Maharashtra Assembly polls and for accompanying Mr. Patil to a hotel in Mumbai during Operation Lotus,” said a senior BJP leader.
The Katti brothers and Jarkiholi brothers are said to have built their politics around sugar factories. The BJP wants to reduce such trends of power politics and replace it with cadre-based politics, said another leader.
Disqualified MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi may join the Cabinet after the courts clarifies his position in the legislature, said a party leader. Speaking in Gokak on Tuesday, Mr. Balachandra said: “Either Mr. Ramesh or I will become a Minister. It’s only a matter of time.”
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