Karnataka cabinet expansion: CM Bommai says BJP chief to send final list of new minister today
New Delhi, Aug 04: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said the central leadership of the BJP will send the final list of the new ministers to be inducted in his cabinet on Wednesday morning, as some issues are yet to be resolved.
Bommai said the expansion of his cabinet will take place this afternoon. "I have had detailed discussions with high command regarding the cabinet, yesterday and the day before. Most probably by 11 am you will get an official list (of new Ministers) from the Raj Bhavan, you in the media are running some names, but you will get an official list mostly by 11-11:30 am," Bommai said on his arrival from Delhi.
Speaking to reporters at the airport here, he said the new cabinet Ministers will be sworn-in at 2:15 pm.
The chief minister, however, did not disclose the number of new ministers to be inducted in the first stage.
Bommai, who was elected as the new leader of the BJP legislature party last week, following Yediyurappa's resignation, had taken oath as the Chief Minister on July 28. After taking oath as the Chief Minister Bommai visited Delhi twice.
Bommai met Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president J P Nadda in Parliament during the day and the two leaders gave a finishing touch to the keenly-awaited expansion of the state cabinet. He also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah to discuss the issue.
Briefing the media about the meetings, Bommai earlier said, "There won't be another meeting on this issue. I am returning to Bengaluru in the morning. I will get the final list over the phone."
A detailed discussion took place with Nadda and the draft list was discussed from regional and social aspects, he added. "Naddaji asked for several clarifications on the information that he has collected. I clarified all of them. He said he will give the final decision tomorrow morning," Bommai said. After getting the green signal from the BJP chief, the list will be sent to the Raj Bhawan on Wednesday, he added.
Asked about the delay in finalising the list, Bommai said, "Three-four issues are to be decided. For instance, whether to accommodate a few more in the final list or not and whether to have deputy chief ministers." Once these issues are resolved, the final list will be ready, he added. There are two opinions on having deputy chief ministers, Bommai said. However, the decision on this will be taken by the central leaders of the BJP.
"The central leadership will discuss with (former Karnataka chief minister and senior party leader) B S Yediyurappa," he added.
Asked if senior leaders and those who have joined the BJP from other political parties will be kept out of the cabinet, the chief minister said, "Nothing of that sort. Experience and youthful spirit will be considered. Overall, it will be a pro-people government." The cabinet will be expanded with a priority to give good governance, keeping the 2023 Karnataka Assembly polls in mind, he said.
Bommai said he expects the cabinet expansion to take place in two stages. He said there was no delay in finalising the list as the central leaders got free only in the evening due to the ongoing Parliament session. Asked if he was tired of this exercise of cabinet expansion, Bommai said, "I am not tired. I am very cool. This is not the first cabinet. I have worked with four-five chief ministers. This is a normal process."
Earlier in the day, Bommai paid a courtesy visit to Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu. He also met the BJP in-charge of Karnataka affairs, Arun Singh. The chief minister discussed railway projects in the state at Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi's residence here in the presence of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. MPs from the southern state were also present at the meeting. Bommai took oath as the chief minister on July 28 after his predecessor Yediyurappa resigned on July 26.