Karnataka: CM Bommai says decision on cabinet expansion in 2 days

Amid murmurs in the BJP circles that a top-to-bottom overhaul of the cabinet cannot be ruled out, ministerial aspirants are hopeful that a decision is likely soon regarding cabinet expansion or reshuffle

AgenciesUpdated: Sunday, May 15, 2022, 02:45 PM IST
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Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai | PTI

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday stated that a final decision on cabinet expansion would be taken after two days.

"We are occupied with the Legislative Council and Rajya Sabha elections. The core committee meeting has been conveyed only on Saturday. We will bring the decisions taken in the meeting to the high command and take a call on cabinet expansion," he explained.

Chief Minister Bommai maintained that the party high command will take a final call on allotting ticket to contest MLC polls in the state to B.Y. Vijayendra, son of former CM B.S. Yediyurappa.

The core committee has recommended the name of Vijayendra to contest for MLC post.

Sources in the party state that the stage is all set for according ministerial berth to Vijayendra.

However, the top leaders are yet to take a final call on the issue as some party leaders are apprehensive about Vijayendra becoming a power centre in the government as Yediyurappa is going to throw his weight behind his son.

Bommai maintained that his government had taken appropriate decision on hijab, halal and Azaan controversies.

"We are giving efficient and pro-people governance. That is our answer to opponents," he said.

Bommai and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mine and Coal Pralhad Joshi had flown to Hubballi from Bengaluru together and held important discussion on decision regarding dropping of ministers from the cabinet.

Several top BJP leaders have denied speculations about Bommai's replacement.

According to top BJP sources, Shah too is said to have asked Bommai to focus on development and election preparations, and leave the rest to the party leadership.

Amid murmurs in the BJP circles that a top-to-bottom overhaul of the cabinet cannot be ruled out, ministerial aspirants are hopeful that a decision is likely soon regarding cabinet expansion or reshuffle, and there are even talks that several incumbents could make way for fresh faces.

Bommai is under pressure from aspirants to expand or reshuffle his cabinet at the earliest, ahead of the polls next year.

There are currently five positions vacant in the state cabinet, which has 29 ministers, including the chief minister, against the sanctioned strength of 34.

Some legislators have even been advocating a Gujarat-like overhaul of the Karnataka cabinet soon, to make way for new faces, ahead of the assembly elections.

The BJP government in Karnataka has been hit by a slew of corruption charges in recent weeks even as communal issues in the state have seen an uptick on account of the state polls being barely a year away.

There has been some thinking in the BJP central leadership on a complete restructuring of the party’s Karnataka government to salvage political ground lost to allegations of corruption and infuse a new energy in the party cadre, BJP leaders in Karnataka have indicated in recent weeks.

(with inputs from agencies)

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