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Awaiting BJP high command's nod for Cabinet expansion: CM Yediyurappa


New Delhi, Sep 19: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Saturday said if the BJP high command gives nod, the much-awaited cabinet expansion could take place before the start of the Assembly session next week.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa

Terming his Delhi trip as "successful", he reiterated that his desire was to complete the process before the monsoon session of the legislature from September 21, but everything will depend on what the high command decides.

"I have explained to the party president (J P Nadda) about my intention to expand the cabinet. I hope the party leaders will communicate with me about their decision by today evening. The top leaders will decide on whom I have to induct," Yediyurappa told reporters here.

The chief minister discussed the cabinet expansion with BJP president J P Nadda on Friday evening.

"If the party leaders agreed, expansion will be held before the assembly session (on September 21)," he said before leaving for Bengaluru after his two-day visit to the national capital.

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Responding to a question on how many will be inducted into the cabinet, Yediyurappa said, "We will have to see, based on the suggestions given by the prime minister and the national president, I will have to take the decision."

The monsoon session of the state legislature is scheduled from September 21 to 30.

He said his Delhi visit was "successful" as he got positive responses to several proposals of the Karnataka government from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other union ministers.

Last night, Yediyurappa had even hinted at the possibility of a cabinet reshuffle, stating that it will depend on the directions from the prime minister and the BJP president.

Cabinet expansion or reshuffle is expected to be a tightrope for 77-year-old Yediyurappa, considering too many aspirants.

While several of the old guard are waiting for a chance to be inducted into the ministry, those who defected from the Congress and JD(S) like A H Vishwanath, R Shankar and MTB Nagaraj, who are now BJP MLCs, are also aspiring for slots.

The cabinet currently has 28 members and six berths are still vacant.

On reports of change in leadership in Karnataka, Yediyurappa on Friday night brushed aside the speculation and asserted that he will continue as chief minister for the entire term.

"There is no truth in the news of leadership change. Some people keep spreading such news, but there is no truth in it. I will remain as CM for the entire term," he had told reporters.

Earlier during the day, Yediyurappa made a courtesy call to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

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