Yediyurappa set to expand Cabinet, BJP MLAs on edge

Yediyurappa set to expand Cabinet, BJP MLAs on edge

Vidhana Soudha

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will get a council of ministers on Tuesday after having run the government single-handedly for the last 26 days, but suspense over who will be inducted has kept BJP legislators on the edge.  

The Cabinet expansion is scheduled to take place at 10.30 am at Raj Bhavan. Till late Monday night, however, the state BJP leaders, including Yediyurappa, were in the dark on the list of ministers finalised by the party’s central leadership. It is believed that about 15 legislators may be inducted into the Cabinet. 

A senior BJP legislator, whose name is being speculated for a berth, said all MLAs had been asked to come to Bengaluru by Tuesday morning. The secrecy surrounding the list of ministerial inductees was seen as the extent to which the BJP central leadership was calling the shots. 

Speculation is rife that Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also the BJP national president, is keen on inducting fresh faces into the Cabinet. Apparently, BJP MLAs from the coastal region and north Karnataka may get a chance to become ministers for the first time. 

Initially, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) had announced that the Cabinet expansion would be preceded by the BJP legislature party meeting in Vidhana Soudha.

There, MLAs were expected to be informed about who made it and who did not. But now, the legislature party meeting stands postponed, one MLA said.

Earlier in the day, Yediyurappa told reporters that he would hold a Cabinet meeting after the new ministers take their oath. 

According to sources, Yediyurappa has submitted to the central leadership a list of names who can be inducted into the Cabinet. But the list finalised in New Delhi may not comprise all the names he has submitted. 

In the past few weeks, Yediyurappa has come under severe criticism for running a ‘one man show’ without a Cabinet.

Yediyurappa justified the delay in the Cabinet expansion, saying his was a national party. Other BJP leaders argued that the party wanted to be careful so as to not make the same mistakes the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition made.

Possible inductees

Jagadish Shettar, KS Eshwarappa, Umesh Katti, Govind Karjol, R Ashoka, B Sriramulu, Basavaraj Bommai, V Somanna, J C Madhuswamy, Haladi Srinivas Shetty/ S Angara, S A Ramdas/ S Suresh Kumar, Prabhu Chavan, Shashikala Jolle, Kota Srinivas Poojary/ N Ravikumar and H Nagesh (Independent).