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Karnataka Cabinet Expansion Today, 7 New Ministers Likely to Take Oath

File photo of Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa.

File photo of Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa.

B S Yediyurappa indicated that one minister might be dropped in the rejig, the third of the 17-month old ministry.

Deepa Balakrishnan

Karnataka is headed for a Cabinet expansion on Wednesday afternoon with seven new ministers expected to be sworn in.

While two defectors will be rewarded with Cabinet berths, the party has decided to also induct some seniors such as eight-time MLA Umesh Katti and six-time MLA S Angara. This is to quell rebellion within the party where the original BJP loyalists had been complaining that they are being sidelined and only new comers are being accommodated.

The party high command had said that seniors and loyalists must be given more weightage this time. As such only two of the seven new ministers are defectors.

Others making the cut are Lingayat strongman Murugesh Nirani, Vokkaliga strongman from the Mysore region CP Yogeshwar and Arvind Limbavli -- who is being rewarded for helping usher BJP into power in Madhya Pradesh.

Despite losing the assembly election two years back, Yogeshwar is being seen as the only one who can take on other Vokkaliga heavyweights like HD Kumaraswamy and DK Shivakumar, who are both from this region.

But despite the greater number of loyalists being inducted, there are already signs of discontent. Party seniors like Sunil Kumar and Satish Reddy have taken to the social media to express their angst at being left out.

While Sunil Kumar said he was not one to go by glorification of caste-based politics, Satish Reddy asked the chief minister directly the criteria to choose ministers and why the party top brass is blind to loyal workers.

Party's new Karnataka in-charge, Arun Singh, is in Bengaluru to oversee the Cabinet expansion.


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