Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa is expanding his Cabinet on Wednesday. According to him, eight legislators are expected to take oath as ministers in the evening.
The expansion of the Cabinet will put an end to all speculations about the stability of the 18-month-old BSY government in the state.
In the last one year, there have been a lot of rumours about Yediyurappa being removed for his advancing age and other reasons. The BJP high command's reluctance to allow him to induct more ministers into the Cabinet was being interpreted as its lack of faith in his leadership. By convincing them to give him a go ahead, BSY has won yet another intraparty battle, emerging stronger once again.
He air dashed to New Delhi last Saturday, triggering wild speculations in Bengaluru about his imminent departure from the CM office. But he returned victorious, obtaining the approval of party bosses for the expansion of his Cabinet, thus cementing his position.
According to some insiders, during a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national president JP Nadda and party's Karnataka in charge Arun Singh, the Chief Minister impressed upon them about the need to expand the Cabinet. They agreed to fill the vacancies and advised BSY to pull up the socks and launch some big initiatives in the State to make his government popular.
"Removal of Yediyurappa is far fetched. Party high command is not thinking about that. These are just wild rumours. He is safe for now. The expansion of Cabinet is a clear indication," said a party insider from New Delhi.
BSY is likely to induct MTB Nagaraj and R Shankar, who defected from the Congress to BJP to make him the CM in July 2019. He is also likely to make senior BJP MLAs Angara, Umesh Katti, Murugesh Nirani and Aravind Limbavali ministers.
Muniratna and CP Yogishwar, both turncoat legislators are fighting for the one slot and serious allegations of corruption and crime against him may go against Muniratna helping Yogishwar to bag the coveted post.
He is likely to drop independent MLA and Excise minister Nagesh from the Cabinet.
Party insiders feel Yediyurappa is safe for at least one more year. Some argue that he may continue till the Assembly elections due in April/May 2023.
However, the Cabinet expansion is unlikely to end infighting in the party as the ones who missed the bus will continue their attack on the Chief Minister.