Karnataka

Karnataka Ministry expansion likely on Monday?

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. File

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. File  

Yediyurappa in Delhi to consult with BJP central leaders

Exactly three weeks after taking oath as Chief Minister, the countdown for the expansion of his Ministry appears to have finally begun for B.S. Yediyurappa. He left for New Delhi on Thursday night to hold consultations with the party central leaders on the issue.

Though Mr. Yediyurappa had camped in New Delhi last week to get clearance for cabinet expansion, he had to return to Bengaluru abruptly as the flood situation aggravated and central leaders too were busy owing to the death of veteran leader Sushma Swaraj.

Mr. Yediyurappa had returned to flood-hit areas as he had been instructed by BJP national president Amit Shah to focus on relief work than ministerial expansion. The Chief Minister has now gone to Delhi as floods and rain fury have subsided and he needs ministerial colleagues to show visible presence of his government on ground.

On Friday, he is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and various other Union Ministers to seek central aid for flood relief. On Saturday, he will meet Mr. Shah to consult on probable candidates for inclusion into the Ministry before his arrival to Bengaluru on the same day.

According to a leader close to Mr. Yediyurappa, the present thinking in the party is to induct only 12 to 16 members into the Ministry. While a large number of probable candidates are party senior leaders and prominent faces, some new faces are also expected to be inducted, sources noted.

As this is the first ministerial expansion, the focus would be on balancing regional, caste and community representation along with the seniority and efficiency of leaders, sources said.

The BJP State leaders feel that the ministerial expansion is likely to be scheduled on Monday as Mr. Yediyurappa would return from Delhi only by Saturday evening or night.

Though Karnataka’s maximum ministerial size is 34, including the Chief Minister, the BJP central leadership is said to be not in favour of filling all berths in one go. This is being attributed to the fluid political situation in the State marked by lack of clarity on the legal position of the disqualified MLAs from Opposition parties.

As the Supreme Court is yet to pronounce its stand on the petitions by the rebels who have challenged their disqualification, the BJP leadership is reportedly in favour of waiting for legal clarity before taking a call on whether to induct the kin of the disqualified MLAs.

Dy. CM’s post unlikely

The BJP leadership is learnt to be not in favour of creating the post of Deputy Chief Minister for now as there are several aspirants for the post.

Sources close to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said the present process of ministerial expansion is unlikely to see a Deputy Chief Minister’s post in a bid to avoid competition between senior leaders.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 6:54:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ministerial-expansion-on-august-19/article29103415.ece

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