Karnataka CM BSY confident of his Cabinet plans

Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa confident of his Cabinet plans

B S Yediyurappa. Credit: PTI photo.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Friday expressed confidence that new ministers will take oath in 3-4 days, even though sources in the BJP hinted that the exercise (expansion or reshuffle) could be delayed further.

One section of the BJP top leadership is of the view that the exercise should be held after  bypolls to the Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency and Maski and Basavakalyan Assembly segments. These bypolls are yet to be announced. 

“Some party leaders in Delhi believe that if Yediyurappa goes for a Cabinet exercise now, it will definitely lead to dissident activities by legislators who lose out in the ministerial race. This will impact the party’s poll prospects,” a senior leader told DH.

“The party’s central leadership is keen on winning all the three seats in Karnataka to continue its victory march following success in the Bihar Assembly and bypolls in several states."

Speaking to reporters, Yediyurappa said he had discussed with BJP national president J P Nadda “what needed to be done and how” and that he is expecting a response in two days. “I will prepare for the swearing-in of the new ministers in 3-4 days,” he said. 

Amid the uncertainty on whether Yediyurappa’s Cabinet will be expanded or reshuffled, some brisk political activities took place during the day. Eight-time MLA Umesh Katti, a sulking ministerial hopeful, met Yediyurappa.

In Delhi, Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi reached out to BJP national general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh. 

Apparently, Jarkiholi requested Santhosh to ensure the induction of MLC A H Vishwanath into the Cabinet. Vishwanath and Jarkiholi were among the 17 rebel MLAs who defected to help the BJP come to power last year. 

Jarkiholi told reporters that his meeting with Santhosh was a courtesy call.

“I have not discussed the Cabinet expansion," he said. “But I’ve been requesting the BJP high command to protect the interest of  leaders who joined BJP after quitting other parties. I’m confident that the leadership and the CM will not ignore the sacrifices of those leaders," he said.

Yediyurappa’s Cabinet has seven vacant positions and there are over a dozen ministerial aspirants. 

Asked about MLAs publicly airing their disgruntlement, including his political secretary MP Renukacharya, Yediyurappa declined to comment. “Such things keep happening. I don’t want to discuss them,” he said.