CM may go to Delhi on Jan 11, 12, might not go to WEF

CM may go to Delhi on Jan 11, 12, might not go to WEF

"Mostly I may not go for a foreign tour", said the Karnataka CM, making his unwillingness to go to Davos clear. (PTI Photo)

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday indicated that he may not travel to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum meeting and said he will be going to New Delhi probably on January 11 or 12 to discuss cabinet expansion with the BJP high command.

"To discuss cabinet expansion and other important issues, to meet Prime Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister I will go to Delhi. After the dates are confirmed I will go, probably on January 11 or 12," Yediyurappa said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said the appointment dates were not confirmed from their side yet, and he was awaiting it. In response to a question about the proposed Davos visit, he said "Mostly I may not go for a foreign tour."

Yediyurappa was expected to join Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Mansukh Mandaviya, as well as Chief Ministers Amarinder Singh (Punjab), Kamal Nath (Madhya Pradesh), and over 100 Indian CEOs at Davos in Switzerland later this month for the WEF's 50th annual meeting. Recently, Yediyurappa had said he was not keen on travelling to Davos but was told that a few Chief Ministers needed to attend the important meet.

According to reports, disqualified legislators, who got re-elected during the December 5 bypolls on BJP ticket and are all set to become ministers, had put pressure on Yediyurappa to expand the cabinet before the Davos visit. On Thursday, two re-elected legislators Gopalaiah and K Sudhakar met the chief minister at his residence and held discussions. Senior BJP legislator from Haveri, Nehru Olekar too met Yeddyurappa and is said to have discussed his chances during the cabinet expansion.

As Yediyurappa has made it clear that 11 of the disqualified JDS-Congress MLAs who got re-elected on BJP tickets will be made ministers, lobbying has been on within the party for the remaining ministerial berths.

Currently, there are 18 ministers, including the chief minister, in the cabinet whose sanctioned strength is 34.

Cabinet expansion will not be an easy task for the chief minister as he will have to strike a balance by accommodating the victorious disqualified legislators as promised and also make place for the old guard, upset at being "neglected" in the first round of the induction exercise.

He also has to give adequate representation to various castes and regions in his cabinet and also deal with the allocation of key portfolios.

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