I’ll induct new ministers into my cabinet tomorrow at 4 pm: Yediyurappa
Bengaluru: The much-awaited cabinet expansion of the Karnataka cabinet will take place on Wednesday at 4 pm, with the induction of seven ministers, Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa said here on Tuesday.
The expansion comes a day before one of Karnataka’s biggest festivals – Makara Sankranti, and is considered as a very auspicious day to commence any new work.
“Seven new ministers will be inducted into the cabinet and the new list of ministers will be announced at 4 pm on Wednesday,” Yediyurappa said.
The BJP high command cleared the much-delayed Cabinet expansion on Sunday.
To a question on whether any ministers will be dropped from the cabinet, Yediyurappa said that the answer to the question who would be dropped will be clear only on Wednesday. “I only appeal to the media not to speculate by writing names as it only adds to confusion,” he said.
On Saturday, Yediyurappa had received a call from BJP central leaders and he met BJP National President J. P. Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party general secretary in-charge for the state Arun Singh on Sunday to discuss the cabinet expansion and the upcoming bypolls to the Basavakalyana and Maski Assembly seats and the Belagavi Parliamentary seat.
Karnataka can have a total of 34 ministers but has 27 now. Besides members representing different factions and the old guard in the party, the Chief Minister also has to accommodate some of those who entered the Assembly through recent bypolls after defecting from Congress and JD(S).
Yediyurappa had assured the rebels of ministerial posts and began looking to fulfil that commitment soon after the BJP won both the bypolls in Karnataka, results of which were declared on 10 November. He had visited New Delhi on 18 November and met with party president J. P. Nadda.
Among the aspirants include BJP MLCs A. H. Vishwanath, R. Shankar and M. T. B. Nagaraj, Raja Rajeshwarinagar MLA Muniratna Naidu whose resignation as MLAs in the previous Cong-JD(S) combine brought the government down and paved the way for the BJP coming to power.
However in the wake of divisional bench of the High Court upholding Vishwanth’s disqualification under the anti-defection law directed that he cannot be inducted into the state cabinet on November 30 last year.
As many as 11 out of the 17 Congress and JDS rebels have already been inducted in the cabinet.
The Karnataka cabinet was expanded for the second time on February 6, 2020, when 10 legislators, who defected from Congress and JD(S) were inducted after they won in the December 5, 2019 by-elections.
They had resigned in July 2019, which had led to the fall of the 14-month JD(S)-Congress coalition government on July 23, 2019, and return of the BJP government on July 26, 2019. The first cabinet expansion, in which 17 ministers were inducted, took place on August 20, 2019. Yediyurappa was sworn-in as BJP Chief Minister for the third time on July 26, 2019.