Source The Hindu
Five former MLAs are eyeing ministerial berths this time
Belgaum: People as well as workers of various political parties are eager to know whether Belgaum district will get two ministerial berths as in the previous Janata Dal (Secular)-BJP coalition Government.
Owing to coalition arithmetic and the obligation to ensure representation to all major caste groups, the district could get two Cabinet berths, one each for the BJP and the Janata Dal (S).
While Shashikant A. Naik was made Minister for Horticulture, Balachandra L. Jarkiholi was given the Social Welfare portfolio considered.
Under the present situation in which the BJP has reportedly promised to accommodate three independent MLAs in lieu of their support to form the Government, there are apprehensions whether the district comprising 18 Assembly seats and two parliamentary constituencies will continue to have two Ministers, or will have to be content with just one berth. The BJP has been able to get nine of the 18 seats in the district as against eight in the previous assembly. The BJP MLAs from the district are Laxman Sangappa Savadi (Athani); Bharamgouda Algouda Kage (Kagwad); Abhay Kumar Patil (Belgaum Dakshin); Metgud Virupakshi (Jagdish) Channappa (Bailhongal); Marihal Suresh Shivarudrappa (Kittur); Mamni Vishwanath Chandrashakher (Saundatti Yellamma); Aihole Duryodhan Mahalingappa (Raibag- SC), Sanjay B. Patil (Belgaum Uttar) and Prahalad Reman (Khanapur).
Those in the forefront for making ministerial claims are the two-time MLAs — Mr. Savadi, Mr. Kage, Mr. Patil, Mr. Metgud and Mr. Marihal.
While Mr.Patil belongs to the minority Jain community, the four others are Lingayats. Mr. Savadi, who lost the opportunity owing to caste arithmetic during the formation of the previous government, is leaving no stone unturned to make it to the Cabinet this time.