Karnataka Cabinet expansion pushed to next week as Amit Shah asks Yediyurappa to focus on flood relief

Chief Minister abruptly returns from New Delhi to visit flood-hit Belagavi

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has to now wait till early next week for his ministerial expansion.

The Chief Minister, who was waiting in New Delhi to hold consultations with the party central leadership on Cabinet expansion, has abruptly returned to the State as the central leaders, who were busy attending the cremation of veteran leader Sushma Swaraj, told him to focus on flood relief for now.

“Party national president Amit Shah asked me to give top priority to flood-relief operations and not to bother about ministerial expansion for the next few days,” Mr. Yediyurappa told reporters after returning to Bengaluru. He said he would visit New Delhi either on Saturday or Sunday to hold consultations on ministerial expansion.

Soon after his return to Bengaluru, Mr. Yediyurappa went to flood-hit Belagavi, where he would halt on Wednesday night to monitor the relief operations.

According to his revised tour itinerary, he will undertake an aerial survey to assess the damage and also inspect flood-relief operations in both Belagavi and Bagalkot before returning to Bengaluru on Thursday.

If things had gone as planned, Mr. Yediyurappa was scheduled to return to Bengaluru on Thursday after getting clearance for the list of candidates to be included into the ministry, and the ministerial expansion was likely to be held either on Thursday or Friday.

What has come tricky for Mr. Yediyurappa is that floods have provided ammunition for the Opposition parties to attack him for undertaking a Delhi visit when people are reeling under distress in several districts of the State.

He appears to be caught in a bind as on the one hand, he could not afford to stay back in New Delhi at the time of floods for getting clearance for ministerial expansion and on the other, delay in ministerial expansion is attracting political criticism.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2020 10:59:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cabinet-expansion-pushed-to-next-week/article28872869.ece

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