Now, wait for reshuffle after session

The Karnataka Cabinet is likely to see a major reshuffle and a change of portfolios soon after the Legislative session concludes on August 3. This could be a record of sorts with new chief minister Jagadish Shettar and his new cabinet sworn in just 10 days ago.

If senior BJP leaders are to be believed, the reshuffle is in tune with an unwritten agreement between the two warring factions of the BJP, which was made at the time the CM was changed. The allotment of portfolios was a quick exercise as it was meant to be a temporary arrangement. Reason? The Party is keen on rewarding its loyalists with plum portfolios, to boost their morale ahead of the crucial Assembly elections in 2013.

Ministers in the Sadananda Gowda cabinet were allowed to retain their portfolios with only the portfolios held by the outgoing CM, distributed among the newcomers. The silent pact was to allow a reshuffle after the maiden session with Mr Shettar as CM was over. If this happens, August first week is sure to bring good news to Party loyalists, who will be ‘rewarded’ with major portfolios though it may not guarantee peace in the faction ridden ruling party.

The portfolios likely to be affected by the reshuffle are public works, industry, water resources, agriculture—all held by loyalists of former CM B.S Yeddyurappa. Though top leaders are not opposing the reshuffle and the change of portfolios, camp followers of the former CM may not let go of these prime portfolios without a fight, said sources. The sources said the BJP’s efforts to quietly filter out `outsiders’ and induct only hardcore BJP leaders (loyalists) in the cabinet ahead of the 2013 polls might trigger a fresh bout of dissidence.

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