MP Renukacharya, the most controversial BJP MLA from Karnataka, has been inducted in BS Yeddyurappa government as Excise minister.
Renukacharya was one of the party men gunning for the chief minister’s head last month. So analysts believe that Yeddyurappa inducted him into the cabinet to quell rebellion and break the rebel faction.
The MLA was involved in a sex scandal in 2007. He was accused of sexually assaulting a nurse. The nurse had at that time released photos showing Renukacharya hugging and kissing her and claimed that the pictures were taken at gunpoint.
The Opposition claims that Yeddyurappa gave him a berth in the cabinet under pressure from Reddy brothers.
Opposition Leader in the Karnataka Assembly, Siddaramaiah stated, “He (Yeddyurappa) is the weakest Chief Minister of Karnataka. All the demands of the Reddy brothers are being fulfilled by him. Yeddyurappa, in order to keep his chair, is considering all the demands of the Reddy brothers.”
It may be mentioned that the Reddy brothers had demanded that this MLA be made a minister during the height of crisis in the state last month.
Besides, Yeddyurappa sprang a surprise by allotting Katta Subramanya Naidu the housing portfolio. Analysts believe that this decision gives Renukacharya’s supporters more than one reason to cheer.
Earlier in the day, Governor HR Bharadwaj administered the oath of office and secrecy to Renukacharya at the glass house of Raj Bhavan. Most of the city BJP MLAs, and ministers R Ashok and Kattasubramanya Naidu stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony, which lasted five minutes.
Among those absent were 17 Bangalore MLAs and BJP state president DV Sadananda Gowda. With Renukacharya’s induction, the ministry strength has risen to 34.