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Sudhakar likely to bag health portfolio too

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  The standoff between Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Health Minister B Sriramulu could become more strained, with the former mulling a crucial decision — handing the responsibility of the health ministry to Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar.

It is said that Yediyurappa has expressed concern over confusion and mismanagement in handling of the Covid crisis, and indicated that he would like one minister to handle both these portfolios. It is well-known that over the past few months, there has been a cold relationship between Sriramulu and Sudhakar over taking the upper hand in managing Covid.    

Sources say the move could lead to colder ties between Yediyurappa and Sriramulu, who has been openly unhappy and sulking for the past 13 months, as he was not considered for the post of deputy chief minister, though it was promised to him when the BJP took charge in 2019. 

Sriramulu, leader of the powerful Valmiki community, was used for campaigns by the BJP in over 80 constituencies where the community, or Sreeramulu himself, was seen as influential. Sriramulu could be compensated with the Social Welfare portfolio, which is currently held by Deputy CM Govid Karjol.

Considering that he already holds the other important portfolio of Backward Classes Welfare, he will be more than compensated, say analysts. Chikkaballapur MLA K Sudhakar was one of the 17 MLAs who crossed over to the BJP. The two portfolios of health and medical education have been handled by one minister in successive governments, and Yediyurappa is looking to follow the old model. Sources said the change could be effected in the next few days. 

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