MLAs pour out their woes to Yediyurappa

They have sought direct meeting with him every quarter

The region-wise BJP legislators’ meetings that Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa chaired on Monday turned into a platform for MLAs to pour out their woes. Their complaints ranged from lack of funds for development works and district Ministers ignoring them to MLAs not having a say even in transfers within their constituencies.

Meetings of BJP MLAs from Kalyana Karnataka, Bombay Karnataka and coastal districts were held on Monday, and the rest will meet on Tuesday.

Sources claimed that MLAs, by and large, were happy with the meeting particularly since the Chief Minister issued directions to Ministers over concerns raised by MLAs. They have demanded similar meetings be held every quarter and Mr. Yediyurappa is learnt to have assured the MLAs that he would meet once every three months.

The meetings, an attempt by the Chief Minister to reach out to MLAs, come in the backdrop of speculations over leadership change in the State and reported discontent among MLAs over inaccessibility of the Chief Minister and lack of development funds.

At all the three meetings, Mr. Yediyurappa, in his initial remarks, explained how floods in 2019 and the pandemic in 2020 had put enormous strain on the State’s finances and also altered its priorities. He promised to cater to demands of party MLAs in the upcoming State budget to the “best of his abilities”, but also cautioned that the pandemic will cast a long shadow on 2021 as well.

The Chief Minister with almost a full Cabinet in tow fielded the brewing discontent among the MLAs, often pulling up Ministers concerned over delay in sanctioned works. He also reviewed the performance of MLAs with the recent gram panchayat poll results as a measure, sources said.

On the complaint against district in-charge Ministers undermining MLAs, he is learnt to have suggested that they meet him directly. “I will ensure your works are done,” the Chief Minister is learnt to have told MLAs.

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