Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday said the announcement of gram panchayat polls will not delay the much-awaited expansion or reshuffle of his cabinet.
"Wait for another two days," Yediyurappa told reporters here in response to a question about the possibility of cabinet expansion or reshuffle in December.
Asked whether the announcement of gram panchayat polls in the state would delay cabinet exercise, he merely said, there was no connection between them.
Karnataka State Election Commission on Monday announced polls to 5,762 gram panchayats in the state in two phases on December 22 and 27, and the model code of conduct has come into immediate effect.
However, Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, speaking to reporters in Belagavi, indicated that the cabinet expansion/ reshuffle may get delayed. Jarkiholi said he has requested the leadership that all those, who came to the BJP quitting the Congress and JD(S) and have "sacrificed" or worked for the party to come to power, should be taken care of during the exercise.
"... The cabinet expansion should happen. We have been requesting the Chief Minister and the party leadership in this regard.. have requested that all those who sacrificed should get ministerial post, but unfortunately election has been declared and we may have to wait one month," he said.
Jarkiholi also expressed hope that all those who came to BJP and sacrificed for the party to come to power will not be dropped from the Ministry if there is a reshuffle.
The Minister has been strongly lobbying for the induction of BJP MLC C P Yogeshwar, who is said to have played a key role during the political crisis last year that eventually led to the collapse of the coalition government and the saffron party to come to power, along with few among those who defected.
As per the agreement, Yediyurappa has already inducted 10 Congress-JDS rebels into the cabinet after they won subsequent bypolls on the BJP ticket.
Few rebels who have been made MLCs along with newly elected Rajarajeshwari Nagar BJP MLA Muniratha (also a rebel) are now waiting for their turn.
The cabinet expansion or reshuffle is expected to be a tightrope walk for the Chief Minister, considering that there are too many aspirants, from the party old guard to Congress-JD(S) rebels who are now BJP legislators.
The cabinet currently has 27 members, and seven berths are still vacant.
Yediyurappa has been waiting for some time now to carry out the cabinet exercise, as he was asked by BJP national president J P Nadda during their meeting in New Delhi on November 18, to wait for clearance from the central leadership.
The Chief Minister on Friday had told reporters he has spoken to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on cabinet expansion, and the central leadership will convey their decision soon, and that the exercise may take place in two-three days.