Hectic lobbying for berth in Sadanand Gowda ministry

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Sadanand Gowda
New Delhi, Aug 10: Senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar and mining magnates Reddy brothers were today (Aug 10) involved in hectic lobbying with party top brass here for the remaining 12 vacancies in Karnataka Chief Minister Sadanand Gowda's cabinet which is likely to be expanded this week end.

Kumar and senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu held a meeting with BJP Parliamentary Party Chief L K Advani to discuss Karnataka issues. Kumar is understood to have tried to persuade him about including some of his associates in the Gowda cabinet, party sources said.

Janardhan Reddy, who was Tourism Minister in former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's cabinet, is also here and is reportedly lobbying for his associates.

Janardhan, his brother Karunakar and close associate B Sriramulu were not included in the 21-member Gowda cabinet on August eight on the ground that they have been indicted in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining and they now want their handpicked candidates to be given berths.

"The next round of ministry expansion is expected by this week end," Minister for Home and Transport R Ashoka told reporters in Bangalore.

Chief Minister Gowda is also in the capital since Tuesday. He had met Advani, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her counterpart in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and other senior central party leaders.

A clear picture on the new additions to Gowda cabinet is likely to emerge by tomorrow evening, the sources said.

Yeddyurappa had favoured Gowda as his successor and a majority of the ministers inducted into the new cabinet are close to him. He also ensured that fellow Lingayat leader Jagadish Shettar was not given the Deputy Chief Minister's post.

Shettar is part of the cabinet along with some of his associates. Yeddyurappa also did not agree to the dissidents demand for some key portfolios.

PTI

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