Wait continues for cabinet exercise in Karnataka, DCM says decision by next week
Bengaluru, Nov 20: As the wait continues for expansion or reshuffle of cabinet in Karnataka, Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi said on Friday the BJP high command is likely to communicate their decision in about a week's time.
"CM (B S Yediyurappa) has made national president J P Nadda aware about all related matters here. Nadda ji has informed the CM he will discuss with the Prime Minister and Amit Shah (Union Home minister) and will convey the decision..It will come in four to six days," Laxman Savadi told reporters at Kalaburagi.
Responding to a question on some ministerial aspirants meeting BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel, he said, "they (MLAs) have freedom to express their feelings with the president and the Chief Minister. They have expressed their opinion and the CM and the president will look into it."
Yediyurappa after his meeting with Nadda in Delhi on November 18 on the cabinet exercise, had said the party national president has sought a couple of days time to consult other leaders on the matter. Developments in Delhi on Wednesday was a repetition of sorts for Yediyurappa, as he was sent back with a similar reply by Nadda, when the Chief Minister had gone with a proposal to take up cabinet expansion exercise in September, ahead of the monsoon session of the state legislature. Political activities have intensified within the ruling BJP camp in the state after Yediyurappa on November 10 indicated that cabinet reshuffle was on the cards after the party's victory in the bypolls to two assembly constituencies.
The Chief Minister had then hinted about reshuffle by dropping or inducting some Ministers. The cabinet expansion or reshuffle is expected to be a tightrope walk for Yediyurappa, considering that there are too many aspirants.
Several legislators have openly declared their aspirations and political hobnobbing is also taking place within the BJP circles. A few aspirants had met BJP state president Kateel on Thursday, apparently aimed at securing their place during the cabinet exercise this time. On the other hand, 8-time MLA Umesh Katti, who has been sulking on being denied a chance earlier, met Yediyurappa on Friday.
Meanwhile in what is being dubbed as related development, Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi has met BJP national general secretary B L Santosh in New Delhi. According to party sources, Jarkiholi is said to have lobbied for Congress-JD(S) rebels who joined the BJP along with him last year and helped the party come to power. Recently some BJP legislators had met at Jarkiholi's residence and reportedly discussed cabinet exercise.
While several of the old guard like Katti are awaiting a chance to be inducted into the Ministry, Congress-JD(S) rebels like A H Vishwanath, R Shankar and M T B Nagaraj, who helped the BJP come to power and are now party MLCs, are also aspiring for slots. As per the agreement, Yediyurappa will also have to keep space for Munirathna, following his win from Rajarajeshwari Nagar seat in the bypoll, and also for Pratap Gowda Patil who needs to win the Maski bypoll that is yet to be announced. The cabinet currently has 27 members, and seven berths are still vacant.