Karnataka CM claims party nod for expansion before Sep 21

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Yediyurappa said that party chief J P Nadda will talk to Prirme Minister Narendra Modi and give directions for the cabinet expansion within two days. 

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is understood to have received his party high command’s nod for the long-awaited cabinet expansion.

PTI quoted Yediyurappa as saying on Saturday, September 19, that he expects directions from the party leadership by "today or tomorrow" regarding the expansion.  The cabinet currently has 28 members and six berths are still vacant. Karnataka can have a maximum of 34 members of cabinet, including the CM.

Yediyurappa made the claim while talking to the reporters at the end of his three-day visit to Delhi, during which he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief J P Nadda and a host of ministers. This was his first visit to the national capital in the last six months.

Terming his Delhi trip as "successful", the Chief Minister reiterated that his desire was to complete the process before the monsoon session of the legislature from September 21, but everything will depend on what the high command decides.

"Regarding cabinet expansion I spoke to Nadda ji (BJP President J P Nadda) for about half-an-hour yesterday, he may speak to the Prime Minister and may give directions about the future course of action today itself," Yediyurappa said.

Responding to a question on how many will be inducted into the cabinet, Yediyurappa said, "we will have to see, based on the suggestions given by the Prime Minister and the national president, I will have to take the decision."

Last night, Yediyurappa had even hinted at the possibility of a cabinet reshuffle, stating that it will depend on the directions from the Prime Minister and the national President. Cabinet expansion or reshuffle is expected to be a tightrope for the 77-year old Yediyurappa, considering too many aspirants.

While several of the old guard are waiting for a chance to be inducted into the Ministry, those who defected from the Congress and JD(S) like A H Vishwanath, R Shankar and MTB Nagaraj, who are now BJP MLCs, are also aspiring for slots.

Meanwhile, there are also strong speculations about the possible change in leadership in the future, considering Yediyurappa's age.

As he returns to Bengaluru today, Yediyurappa also said that the Prime Minister and union ministers whom he met over the last two days have positively responded to the issues raised by him concerning the development of the state.

"I feel that this Delhi trip of mine has been very successful, from the Prime Minister to all the Ministers have positively responded to the requests that we had put forward for the development of Karnataka. I feel that they will take necessary steps in that direction soon," he said.

Yediyurappa’s major pleas included early release of money from the National Disaster Response Fund for the current to ensure timely and adequate assistance to the flood affected people, declaration of Krishna II and Upper Bhadra as national projects.

The Karnataka CM also appealed for early approvals and clearances for irrigation and drinking water projects, including Mekedatu and Kalasa Banduri Nala, to fully utilise water allotted to the state’s share.

Image Credit: Siasat Daily

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