Karnataka CM may visit Delhi over Cabinet expansion

Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa likely to visit Delhi over Cabinet expansion

BS Yediyurappa

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is likely to meet BJP national president JP Nadda on January 30 to finalise the much-awaited Cabinet expansion, with the Chief Ministers’ Office awaiting confirmation from the party high command to visit Delhi.

Sources in the BJP said the CM was ‘very likely’ to travel to Delhi on Jan 30. If all goes as planned, the new ministers will be sworn in on Jan 31. This will include Congress-JD(S) migrants, who were elected on a BJP ticket.

Yediyurappa had promised to travel to Delhi within two days of his return from Davos to get the central leadership’s approval.

However, the upcoming Delhi election is said to have caused delays in securing an appointment with Nadda.

In the 34-member Cabinet, there are 16 berths vacant and Yediyurappa is under immense pressure from ministerial aspirants. Yediyurappa will have to accommodate at least 12 new faces, 11 of whom won the recent bypolls. 

Despite the encouraging news, a few of the newly-elected MLAs might be left disappointed. At least two of the 11 MLAs who won the bypolls — Athani’s Mahesh Kumathalli and Kagwad’s Shrimanth Patil — will not feature in the list of Cabinet inductees, sources say.

A total of 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs had resigned, and their subsequent disqualification toppled the previous coalition government and helped the BJP come to power.

The decision to include only nine MLAs will be a blessing for several senior BJP leaders such as Umesh Katti, who have made their Cabinet aspirations clear. Induction of nine MLAs would ensure that three MLAs from the native BJP camp are also accommodated.  

Remarks by Vijayapura MLA Basangouda Patil Yatnal about the need for seniors to ‘sacrifice’ Cabinet berths, sources say, was indicative of the underlying discord within the native BJP camp. Yatnal is one among the long list of hopefuls aspiring for a Cabinet berth.