'Expect Directions from BJP High Command on Cabinet Expansion by Today or Tomorrow': Yediyurappa
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Saturday said he expects directions from the BGP high command by " today or tomorrow" regarding the much-awaited expansion of his cabinet. Terming his Delhi trip as "successful", the Chief Minister 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.
" Regarding cabinet expansion, I spoke to Nadda ji (BJPPresident J P Nadda) for about half-an-hour yesterday, he may speak to the Prime Minister and may give directions about the future course of action today itself," Yediyurappa said. Speaking to reporters after meeting Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi, he said, based on the high command's directions he will decide on the cabinet expansion.
The Chief Minister who is in New Delhi since Thursday afternoon had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several Union Ministers regarding issues concerning the development of the state. Last night, he had met Nadda to discuss the cabinet expansion.
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." He said, "my desire is to complete the process before the session. So I expect they (high command) will let me know by today or tomorrow, let's see what decision they will take." The monsoon session of the state legislature is scheduled from September 21 to 30. 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 national President.
Cabinet expansion or reshuffle is expected to be a tightrope for the 77-year old Yediyurappa, considering too many aspirants. While several of the old guard are waiting for achance to be inducted into the Ministry, those who defected from the Congress and JD(S) like A H Vishwanath, R Shankar and TB Nagaraj, who are now BJP MLCs, are also aspiring for slots.
The cabinet currently has 28 members and six berths are still vacant. Meanwhile, there are also strong speculations about the possible change in leadership in the future, consideringYediyurappa's age.
However, it has been rejected by senior party leaders like BJP state President Nalin Kumar Kateel and Minister Ashoka among others. As he returns to Bengaluru today, Yediyurappa also said that the Prime Minister and Union ministers whom he met over the last two days have positively responded to the issues raised by him concerning the development of the state.
"I feel that this Delhi trip of mine has been very successful, from the Prime Minister to all the Ministers have positively responded to the requests that we had put forward for the development of Karnataka. I feel that they will take necessary steps in that direction soon," he said.