Bengaluru: Amid reports of a tussle by Ministers to be made in-charge for Bengaluru development, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday said he would resolve the issue after a discussion with everyone.
Currently, the Chief Minister himself is in charge of the city.
”I will decide on who should be made in charge of which district after discussing with everyone in a cordial manner. All are our people. Bengaluru is important, I’m confident that after discussing with everyone, I will resolve things without any trouble,” Bommai told reporters in response to a question.
The Chief Minister’s statement came on a day when senior Minister V Somanna, currently holding the Housing portfolio, openly expressed his desire to be made in-charge of Bengaluru amid reports that some city legislators and Ministers were expressing their reservation internally about a move to give the post to Revenue Minister R Ashoka, considered close to the Chief Minister.
The resentment grew after Ashoka, made in-charge of COVID management in the city by Bommai, has been asked to also oversee the implementation of Amrith schemes in the city. The schemes were announced to mark the 75th year of Independence. With Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike elections coming, it was expected that the responsibility of Bengaluru development would be allocated to a senior Minister from the city during the portfolio allocation, but the Chief Minister has retained the city development portfolio to himself keeping in view the number of aspirants for it.
Pointing out that B S Yediyurappa as Chief Minister had kept the development portfolio with himself and if the incumbent also wants to keep it that way, there is no issue, Somanna said it is left to the discretion of Bommai, and added that he won’t interfere, but having held the portfolio in the J H Patel government, he was more qualified for the post.
”I have said, while allocating I have told CM to consider me, I’m senior to everyone else (city MLAs), I can manage things in a high-class manner with past experience,” he said.
Noting that district in-charge Ministers have not been appointed so far, and districts were temporarily assigned only for COVID responsibilities and for Independence day, he, in response to a question as to how Ashoka was holding meetings concerning Bengaluru, said, ”You have to ask the Chief Minister about it.” Expressing hope that the Chief Minister would soon assign districts to Ministers soon, he, however, said, ”Whoever is assigned Bengaluru…if Ashoka is given, I have no issue.” Responding to another question, he said Ashoka was not even an MLA when he first became Minister, but he has no arrogance, as the party is important.
Ashoka, on his part, said he has not asked for the post and as to whom to appoint is left to the discretion of the Chief Minister.
”Appointing in-charge to 31 districts is left to the discretion of the Chief Minister. I have not asked for any in-charge post, whoever is made in-charge for Bengaluru, I’m ready to work. Chief Minister will decide. I have neither put any application nor I will ask for anything,” he said.
Speaking to reporters on the statement by Somanna that he was senior and a deserving candidate for the post, he said, ”I have no objection to it. I have no differences with Somanna, we are on good terms. I want the government to function properly and effectively, that’s all, and I’m not interested in any competitions.” Also, he clarified that he was not functioning as the district in-charge and was only fulfilling the task of filling up the potholes (in the roads) that was entrusted to him.