Cabinet expansion only after Aug 16: BSY

Karnataka Chief Minister  B S Yediyurappa and Union Home Minister Amit Shah being given information of flood situation in Belagavi district at the airport on Sunday

The State government, which is under constant attack from the opposition as 'one-man government', will remain so at least till August 16, after Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa ruled out inducting ministers into the cabinet till the said date. Yediyurappa, without a council of ministers, has been ruling the State alone for 16 days after he was sworn-in on July 26.

Speaking to reporters at Sambra Airport, Belagavi, following an aerial survey of flood-hit Belagavi and Bagalkot districts and a meeting of officials chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, he said that he would visit Delhi after Independence Day.

"Amit Shah has asked me to come to Delhi on August 16, during which he has assured to hold discussions on cabinet expansion in Karnataka. Ahead of my visit to Delhi, he has asked me to survey more flood-hit districts," he said.

Yediyurappa said that he will travel to Delhi on the evening of August 15 or morning of August 16 to finalise the list of ministers to be inducted into the cabinet.

Apart from the opposition, Yediyurappa is under pressure from within party ranks to expand the State cabinet. The opposition has targeted Yediyurappa of failing to effectively tackle the flood crisis without a council of ministers. The BJP high command was attacked for not exercising the same haste it displayed to topple the coalition government in the State.

Though Yediyurappa was eager to expand the cabinet, death of former minister Sushma Swaraj and one of the worst floods in Karnataka in recent memory had stalled the process. Apart from it, the BJP high command too has refused to give the chief minister a free rein in selecting his cabinet, as indicated by its intervention while nominating a speaker to the Legislative Assembly.

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