Embarrassed by the growing dissatisfaction among several senior legislators who have been overlooked for a place in the Karnataka Cabinet, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday abruptly put off the Cabinet expansion, which was scheduled to be held on Wednesday morning.
According to sources, the expansion is likely to take place after the Deepavali festival ends on November 7.
The BJP had decided to expand the Cabinet by filling four of the six vacant berths. Even the time for the swearing-in ceremony had been fixed.
Though the names of the legislators to be sworn in were not officially announced, party circles made it known informally that independent MLA Varthur Prakash, who quit the Opposition camp to support the BJP during the crucial trust vote; Narasimha Nayak, who also switched sides; party general secretary C.T. Ravi, and the former Minister, Sogadu Shivanna, were on the list.
But discontent within the party came out into the open with party chief whip D.N. Jeevaraj resigning from his post on Monday.
This was followed on Tuesday by several senior party MLAs expressing dissatisfaction.
Four-time MLA Chandrakant Bellad, a senior politician from Dharwad district, announced that he would quit as chairman of the Border Area Development Board on Wednesday.
He indirectly criticised the choice of rank outsiders and juniors like Mr. Prakash and Mr. Nayak as ministers.
This was followed by Belgaum Rural MLA Sanjay Patil who said that his community of Jains did not have
representation in the Ministry.
There were reports of MLAs M.P. Kumaraswamy, Krishnaiah Shetty and J. Narasimhaswamy also letting it be known that they expected to be part of the Ministry.