Cabinet expansion in a week: Bommai

Chief Minister says he may have to visit Delhi again for consultation on composition of Ministry

July 30, 2021 11:27 pm | Updated 11:27 pm IST - BENGALURU

Courtesy call:  Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday.

Courtesy call: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday.

After meeting BJP central leaders, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday expressed confidence that ministerial expansion would take place within a week.

The new Chief Minister ruled out any possibility of the expansion getting delayed for a long time like it did after his predecessor B.S. Yediyurappa took over in 2019.

“I have tried to convince party national president J.P. Nadda about the need to give early clearance for the expansion as the State is reeling under floods and COVID-19. They have responded positively and assured me of informing at the earliest,” Mr. Bommai told reporters in New Delhi.

“I am yet to discuss the composition of the Ministry. The national president will send a message whether it is required for me to come to Delhi again to discuss this issue. I feel I may have to come again,” Mr. Bommai said.

When asked how his Ministry would look, he only said, “It will be a combination of people having experience, innovative mindset, and creative thinking.” To a particular question on whether he would give preference to youth, he said, “You can wait and see.”

Meanwhile, the new Chief Minister was given the mandate of providing “clean and efficient” government by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The Prime Minister told me during the 40-minute meeting that the party expects me to deliver clean and efficient administration,” he said.

Floods, COVID-19

Mr. Modi, who held a detailed discussion on various issues related to Karnataka, including floods and COVID-19, also promised to provide Central assistance for any project to be taken up for rehabilitation in flood-hit areas, he said. Mr. Modi also said he would be available anytime for discussing State’s development, Mr. Bommai added.

The Prime Minister particularly referred to the increasing COVID-19 cases in neighbouring Kerala and asked Mr. Bommai to take precautionary measures. Mr. Bommai said in his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the latter said it was “testing time” for him and that he would have to raise to the occasion. “I assured him that I am ready to work 24 hours a day to meet their expectation,” Mr. Bommai said.

Another senior leader, Rajnath Singh advised the new Chief Minister to focus on strengthening the BJP too through a proper coordination between the party and the government.

Taking exception to Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah ridiculing him as a “rubber stamp Chief Minister”, Mr. Bommai said if at all his administration had any stamp, it would be that of the BJP.

“I want to tell Mr. Siddaramaiah that my administration will have a stamp of personality of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh besides the experience of popular programmes of my predecessor B.S. Yediyurappa,” he said.

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