Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Sunday said that the state Cabinet expansion will likely take place on Wednesday, reported PTI. The announcement came after the chief minister met Bhartiya Janata Party chief JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi.
“We have finalised seven names,” Yediyurappa told reporters after returning from Delhi. “January 14 is the festival [Makar Sankranti]. Most probably the oath-taking ceremony will take place on January 13 afternoon. I will confirm the names and portfolios later.”
He said that it was the “last meeting” to discuss the Cabinet expansion. The state can have a total of 34 ministers and has 27 currently.
Earlier in Delhi, Yediyurappa had said that said he would give “good news” soon. “On Cabinet expansion, there was a detailed discussion,” he said.
Yediyurappa’s sudden visit to Delhi had raised eyebrows in the political circles as it came amid the decision of the Karnataka High Court to not provide relief to the chief minister in land denotification cases and the reported unhappiness brewing in the party, according to The Hindu.
The chief minister, however, avoided questions on whether he would be able to complete his tenure. There was speculation that the matter of leadership change could be discussed in the meeting, which was also attended by state party in-charge Arun Singh.
BJP leaders, part of the anti-Yediyurappa camp, claimed that a change in leadership was discussed at the meeting, The Hindu reported. They claimed that the top BJP brass had given multiple offers for change in the state leadership, also offering a central Cabinet position for Shivamogga MP Raghavendra.
The chief minister, however, claimed that the BJP leadership expressed happiness about the party’s performance in the recently-held gram panchayat elections. Further, state ministers had on January 5 said that all 118 BJP MLAs expressed faith in Yediyurappa’s leadership, asserting that the government was stable.
Apart from the Cabinet rejig, the chief minister said discussions were also held on the upcoming bye-polls in the state for one parliamentary and two Assembly seats.“The leaders have asked for a list of probable candidates in these three constituencies, and we will send it to them,” he said, adding that details of Shah’s visit to the state was also discussed.
The names of MLAs Umesh Katti, Munirathna, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, MP Renukacharya, Aravind Limbavali and SR Vishwanath have cropped up as probables in the ministerial race. MLCs CP Yogeshwar, MTB Nagaraj and R Shankar are also aspiring for a ministerial berth.