Karnataka

Cabinet expansion: Yediyurappa fails to get appointment with high command

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddiyurappa has said that he will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah and discuss Cabinet expansion when he comes to the State on January 18.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddiyurappa has said that he will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah and discuss Cabinet expansion when he comes to the State on January 18.  

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He was scheduled to go to Delhi for two days to discuss ministerial expansion with Modi and Shah

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa is reportedly upset with the BJP high command for not giving him an appointment to hold consultations on Cabinet expansion, resulting in its delay.

While the Chief Minister has been facing pressure from the newly elected MLAs for an immediate expansion, the party high command has been delaying it, putting him in a spot, his close associates say.

Mr. Yediyurappa has had to cancel his trip to Delhi, scheduled for Sunday and Monday, as Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not give him an appointment. “I will meet Mr. Shah and discuss Cabinet expansion when he comes to the State on January 18,” he told mediapersons on Saturday.

He recently announced that he was unlikely to go to Davos to attend the annual meeting of World Economic Forum, as scheduled earlier, over the same issue.

The Chief Minister had earlier found it difficult to get an appointment with Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah over flood-relief assistance to the State in August-September 2019, leaving him embarrassed. He had raised the issue of “inadequate flood assistance” at a recent public rally in the presence of Mr. Modi in Tumakuru, following which the Union government released the second instalment of ₹1,869 crore.

Sources said that the Chief Minister raising the issue with the Prime Minister on a public platform has not gone down well with the high command. “Mr. Yediyurappa is the senior-most Chief Minister of the BJP today and he cannot be snubbed time and again like this, especially after he won 12 of the 15 seats in the bypolls and strengthened his government, proving his popularity in the State,” a senior MLA close to him said.

Meanwhile, the newly elected party-hopper MLAs have met twice and are exerting pressure on the Chief Minister to induct them into the Cabinet immediately, sources said. The Chief Minister had publicly assured the ‘rebels’ that they would be inducted into the Cabinet within 24 hours of their victory. But it has been over a month now and there is no clear idea on when the expansion will take place.

The MLAs have also turned wary as the Chief Minister was now trying to convince at least two MLAs from Belagavi to accept nominations to boards and corporations, instead of ministries.

Dy. CM posts

Another bone of contention between the Chief Minister and the high command delaying decision on Cabinet expansion is over Deputy Chief Ministers, sources in the party said.

“Mr. Yediyurappa wants all Deputy Chief Minister posts to be scrapped. Creating three deputies to him was the high command’s decision to keep him in check and also groom new leadership, as the Chief Minister is beyond the 75-year age limit already. Both the high command and the Chief Minister are driving a hard bargain over the issue,” said a senior minister, who did not wish to be named.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:31:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cabinet-expansion-yediyurappa-fails-to-get-appointment-with-high-command/article30551802.ece

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