Cabinet expansion after BBMP polls

Winning election is a prestigious issue, CM tells party top brass

Cabinet expansion after BBMP polls

The much-delayed expansion of the Karnataka Cabinet will take place after the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) election.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel here and reportedly convinced him about his plan to postpone the Cabinet reshuffle. He is learnt to have suggested to the Congress top brass that the reshuffle should be taken up after the BBMP election, as winning it was a matter of prestige for the party.

With too many aspirants for the few available slots in the Cabinet, undertaking a restructure at this juncture would be not good political move. He is learnt to have said that facing the Palike election would become tough in case party leaders denied berths started dissidence activities in the run-up to the poll. The party high command is understood to have agreed to the chief minister’s point of view and advised him to take up the expansion later.

Though earlier the Karnataka government had informed the Supreme Court that it would hold the BBMP election by August 5, the State government also filed an application before the Karnataka High Court seeking more time, citing the exercise of undertaking delimitation and ward-wise reservation for the poll.

“If the High Court grants time, polls will be delayed. If the court refuses to grant any more time, then the State government may have to hold the polls in the last week of July or the first week of August,” sources told Deccan Herald.

Though the chief minister said on Tuesday that he would meet Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, the meeting did not take place.

Speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah said he would visit Delhi again and discuss the issue of Cabinet expansion with the high command. However, he refused to say when the expansion would take place.

He said the Congress would hold a convention of the party-backed candidates, who won the recent gram panchayats elections, in Bengaluru by the month-end. Sonia Gandhi has been invited to address the meeting.

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