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Cabinet expansion in Karnataka after by-polls

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Bengaluru, Dec 05: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa may go for cabinet expansion after the December 5 bypolls to 15 assembly segments, Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi said on Wednesday. The cabinet expansion will be done after securing approval from the party's national leadership, he told reporters at Athani.

"After considering pros and cons, the Chief Minister will decide on whom to be inducted, he (Chief Minister) is thinking about it. He would also seek advice from the high command," Savadi said.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa

In response to a question, he said senior BJP legislators like Umesh Katti and Basanagouda Patil Yatnal may be considered during the expansion "as they are seniors."

Including the Chief Minister, currently there are 18 ministers in the cabinet, whose sanctioned strength is 34.

Karnataka by-election 2019 LIVE: BJP needs to hit a six to retain power

There as still 16 vacant positions as of now.

Most of the disqualified legislators, who joined BJP and are contesting the by-election, are likely to be made ministers, amid speculation that they will be made ministers, irrespective whether they win or lose the bypolls.

Some sitting BJP MLCs may be asked to make way for disqualified MLAs, by stepping down, if the situation arises, party sources had recently said.

Also, several senior party legislators like eight-time MLA Umesh Katti have expressed interest to become ministers openly and Yediyurappa may have to accommodate them to avoid any discontent.

The ruling BJP needs to win at least six seats in the bypolls to remain in a majority in the 224-member assembly, which would still have two vacant seats-- Maski and R R Nagar.

Karnataka by-elections 2019: Congress high command to decide on alliance with JDS, says Siddaramiah

The BJP has fielded as its candidates 13 of the 16 disqualified legislators who recently joined the party, from their respective constituencies.

Among the constituencies going to the bypolls, 12 were held by Congress and three by JD(S), whose coalition government collapsed due to rebellion by the disqualified MLAs.

Bypoll results will be declared on December 9.

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