One of the rare pro-Hindu dispensations in the country, the BS Yediyurappa government has just turned a bit more unapologetic about its cultural agenda. In the latest attempt, the State Brahmin Development Board, which was set up last year, has launched two new schemes that provide cash to Brahmin brides — even as speculations are rife over the leadership change in BJP Karnataka.
The two schemes, Arundhati and Maitreyi, will provide Rs 25,000 and Rs 3 lakh respectively to Brahmin brides in Karnataka, who are from the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), the technical term for “poor”.
Under the Arundhati scheme, the government will provide Rs 25,000 for Brahmin brides. Under the second scheme Maitreyi, the state government will provide Rs 3 lakh to a Brahmin woman who marries a priest.
The Brahmin board has identified around 500 girls for the Arundhati scheme. The board has marked another 25 brides for the Maitreyi scheme.
Earlier, the board had launched a scheme where the government was offering Rs 500 a month to those who wanted to be trained in puja rituals and sandhya vandana.
The Karnataka government has made several other similar boards like Maratha Development board to humour different communities.
Karnataka BJP is so far the only unit of the party that had promised to free temples in the province from state control, much as this promise was in the manifesto for an election after which a minority government of HD Kumaraswamy with support from the INC was formed, which could not last its term.
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Earlier, in November, Yediyurappa had met BJP chief JP Nadda and had said that he would expand the cabinet in three days. “Regarding cabinet expansion, I have discussed with our (BJP) national president JP Nadda on- what to do, how to do it, in what way changes have to be made. According to me in two days he will confirm and in three-four days, a programme will be planned for the swearing-in of new ministers,” Yediyurappa had said.
Many leaders, including those who jumped ship from Indian National Congress (INC) and JDS, are awaiting the cabinet expansion. The leadership has kept Yediyurappa waiting. While 8-time MLA Umesh Katti, political secretary MP Renukacharya, and others who were not included in the cabinet previously, has met the Chief Minister, few MLAs had met BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel.
INC-JD(S) rebels like AH Vishwanath, R Shankar and MTB Nagaraj, who helped the BJP come to power and are now party MLCs, are aspiring for slots. As per the agreement, Yediyurappa will have to keep space for Munirathna, following his win from Rajarajeshwari Nagar seat in the 3 November bypoll. The cabinet currently has 27 members, and seven berths are still vacant.
Demands for a leadership change in the BJP unit of the state has again risen with senior BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal once again expressing his desire to the Chief Minister. Yatnal, who had earlier spoken openly against Chief Minister Yediyurappa, hinted at leadership change in the state by Sankranthi when Amit Shah will visit the state. “Every year, the sun changes his path and shines on the northern hemisphere on Sankranthi.
In Karnataka, the sun will shine on north Karnataka and the era of wholesome development of this region will begin.” He added on questions about CM-post, “Who said I cannot be the Chief Minister? I could be if it is my destiny.” However, BJP leader Shashikala Jolle, who is also the Minister for Women and Child Welfare, had set aside the talks about leadership change and had asserted that Yediyurappa would complete his remaining term of three years in office.