Yet again, Bommai’s Delhi trip ups hopes of ministerial aspirants

Basavaraj Bommai

Basavaraj Bommai

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is set to leave for New Delhi on Thursday on a two-day visit. The sudden plan has raised eyebrows and many leaders in the BJP State unit are speculating about the possibility of him discussing ministerial expansion with central leaders, even though they are occupied with the quick pace of political developments in Maharashtra.

The official tour programme of the Chief Minister only says that he is scheduled to meet various Union Ministers in connection with developmental issue. However, sources in the government said that he is trying to meet the party central leaders too. Though there is no confirmation yet, the visit has again given hope to ministerial aspirants.

The party high command had earlier turned down the Chief Minister’s request for a ministerial expansion on the grounds that the situation was fluid about the schedule of elections to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council and zilla and taluk panchayats. Also the elections to the Legislative Council from the Assembly, teachers, and graduates constituency, besides the Rajya Sabha elections, had been announced just then.

Polls scenario

Now, the Legislative Council and Rajya Sabha elections have been completed. Also, there is a sense that ZP polls may not be held before the next Assembly elections while a section of party leaders are of the view that even BBMP council elections may be delayed.

Citing these factors, sources close to the Chief Minister said that he may broach the issue of ministerial expansion with the party high command again.

Sources in the BJP State unit maintained that party national president J.P. Nadda as well as key strategist Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had got a first-hand political feel of Karnataka as they recently visited the Sate. They would have a clear view on whether to take up ministerial expansion now or put it off indefinitely. Clarity in this regard would emerge during the Chief Minister’s Delhi visit, it is hoped.

Those in favour of ministerial expansion, especially the aspirants, insist that it is possible to take up expansion before the impending BBMP polls.

Presently, there are five vacancies in the Basavaraj Bommai-led Ministry that can have a maximum strength of 34 members, including himself.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2022 9:47:33 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/yet-again-bommais-delhi-trip-ups-hopes-of-ministerial-aspirants/article65554366.ece