Bengaluru: In a major development, Karnataka chief minister, B. S. Yediyurappa effected a minor reshuffle of his cabinet on Monday by divesting B. Sreeramulu from health and family welfare portfolio and assigning Medical Education Minister, Dr K. Sudhakar as his Health Minister.
According to party insiders, Sreeramulu had faced numerous embarrassments ever since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in March, as since then, Dr Sudhakar had always been in the forefront to brief the media as well as the opposition over Covid-related issues.
Sreeramulu was nowhere to be seen, even during just concluded truncated six-day legislature session too it was Dr Sudhakar who single handedly defended the state government on the floor of the house. Since then, there has been speculation that Sreeramulu would be replaced with Dr Sudhakar.
Currently, deputy chief minister Govind Karjol who held the social welfare portfolio as well as Public Works Development portfolio was asked to give up the Social Welfare portfolio and the same was given to Sreeramulu.
Reacting to the development, Deputy Chief Minister, Govind Karjol said, “That was in anyway given to me as an additional responsibility, so now it is taken away. I am deeply hurt for the fact that though I was the Social Welfare minister for more than a year but could not do much work due to the outbreak of pandemic.”
While visibly elated, Medical Education minister reacting to his appointment, after seeking blessings from Vokkaliga pontiff, Shri Nirmalanandanatha Swamiji of Adichunchanagiri Matha, Dr Sudhakar said, “I want to emulate the Kerala model in tackling the pandemic. There is no need for me or Sreeramulu to be happy or sad about this development. This is just an administrative issue. He has worked earnestly to tackle the pandemic but technically, the medical education and health ministry should always be vested with one person especially during such pandemic.”
Meanwhile, newly appointed social welfare minister, B. Sreeramulu has refrained from issuing any comments on this development, although he was trying hectically to reach party central leaders and Yediyurppa, signalling that he was unhappy over his removal from Health ministry.