GP polls won't affect Cabinet expansion: BS Yediyurappa

Gram panchayat polls won't affect Cabinet expansion: Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa

Yediyurappa said that the gram panchayat elections were as crucial as Lok Sabha and Assembly polls

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. Credit: DH

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday said the gram panchayat elections will not come in the way of expanding or reshuffling his Cabinet.

The model code of conduct for the local polls kicked in from Monday itself amid uncertainty on what the BJP central leadership will decide on Yediyurappa's Cabinet.

“Wait for two days,” Yediyurappa said when asked if his Cabinet will be expanded in the month of December.

Yediyurappa said that the gram panchayat elections were as crucial as Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.

"They are important to strengthen the party organisation," he said.

"Six teams under state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel are travelling to prepare for the polls," he said."Although there is no party symbol in the gram panchayat elections, naturally people know which candidate is backed by who. That's why BJP is giving more importance to these polls," Yediyurappa added.

According to State Election Commissioner B Basavaraaju, it was a "rare thing" to expand the Cabinet during the subsistence of the code of conduct.

"There are no specific guidelines for it. We have to examine it separately. When the government wants to expand the Cabinet and if it refers to us, we will look into it," he said.

The guidelines, he said, were aimed at preventing rural voters from being influenced. "We have to examine whether such decisions influence voters," he said.

He did not have clarity when asked whether inducting MLCs MTB Nagaraj and R Shankar, both of whom have represented rural constituencies, would influence voters.

Meanwhile, the Yediyurappa administration continued to make appointments to state-run companies. The government also rejigged some after legislators are said to have thrown a tantrum on what they were initially given.

Raibag MLA Duryodhana Aihole, who was nominated as chairman of Dr BR Ambedkar Development Corporation a few days ago, was appointed chairman of Karnataka Adijaambava Development Corporation.

Mayakonda MLA N Linganna will now head Dr Babu Jagajeevan Ram Leather Industries Development Corporation Ltd, after Haveri MLA Olekar Channabasappa was shifted to the Karnataka SC/ST Commission.