New Karnataka CM to discuss cabinet expansion with BJP high command

Wednesday 04th August 2021 07:39 EDT

Bengaluru: Newly sworn-in Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is in Delhi and is expected to meet the BJP high command to finalise the names of ministers to be inducted into the new Cabinet. He has also dropped hints that the new ministers will be formally appointed by August 5, if the names were finalised by the central leadership.

“The names for the Cabinet will be decided in the meeting. Swearing-in will take place either on Wednesday or Thursday,” Bommai said. He added that he was also trying to meet Home Minister Amit Shah at the Parliament before his scheduled meeting with party chief J P Nadda. Bommai has reiterated that the appointments would be completed “in a balanced manner, also considering the previous team (led by B S Yediyurappa)”. Responding to queries about whether the expansion of his cabinet would be done in separate phases, Bommai clarified that the decision on the same would be made during the upcoming meeting with the party’s leaders.

“Another decision will be that of the number of Deputy CMs that will be included in the cabinet. Efforts will be made to ensure everyone is together, considering the current political situation,” Bommai added. Bommai also revealed that some ministerial aspirants, camping in the national capital, have met him since his arrival. “We have had good discussions and they are also aware that not everyone can be picked for the Cabinet,” he said. Lobbying for the plum posts, including that of deputy CM, has been intense since Yediyurappa resigned last week, with a few leaders visiting and staying put in the national capital, airing their demands to the party leadership as well.

What led to Yediyurappa's downfall

Several MLAs within the BJP went public against former CM, with BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal first saying that the party cannot have Yediyurappa as the chief minister in the next elections. The CM has to be changed to keep the BJP alive in the state, Yatnal said.

State tourism minister CP Yogeshwara and Huballi-Dharwad MLA Arvind Bellad had also spoken out against the former CM. Yediyurappa also faced a sort of internal rebellion from former CM Sadananda Gowda, who was dropped from the Union Cabinet and returned to Bengaluru.

Corruption allegations

Further, Yediyurappa was accused of being involved in the alleged illegal allotment of 24 acres of government land to private individuals at a loss to the taxpayer. In April this year, the Supreme Court put a stay on the criminal proceedings against him in the 10-year-old corruption case related to alleged illegal land denotification.

Allegations of interference with governance in the state were also levelled against Yediyurappa’s kin, including his sons, for piggybacking on the 78-year-old’s clout and furthering personal financial interests at the cost of state matters.

Growing age

Then, several leaders within the BJP emphasised the need for a young leader to take on the state unit's baton for the next Assembly elections. It should be remembered that the Yediyurappa government had come to power after toppling the Congress-JD(S) coalition government led by former CM HD Kumaraswamy.

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