Karnataka CM hints at cabinet expansion after by-elections

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Yediyurappa said he will go to New Delhi after the results of the election in RR Nagar and Sira are announced on November 10 and get the party high command's approval for the expansion.

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Friday hinted that he would expand the cabinet after the twin Assembly by-elections on November 3 in the state.

He told reporters in Bengaluru that he will go to New Delhi after the results of the election in RR Nagar and Sira are announced on November 10 and get the party high commands approval for the expansion.

"I will finalise the list of legislators to be made ministers in consultation with the party high command, Nadda and other central leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah," said Yediyurappa.

Though the 34-member ministry has 6 vacancies to be filled in the third cabinet expansion of the 15-month-old government, a dozen lawmakers are vying for the posts. Although the party's newly appointed national general secretary C.T. Ravi resigned as the state tourism minister under the 'one-man, one-post norm' on October 4, the Chief Minister is yet to relieve him of the post.\

"If Ravi's resignation is accepted, Yediyurappa will have one more cabinet post to fill in addition to 6 vacant and reshuffle portfolios of the 27 Ministers, including 3 Deputy Chief Ministers," a party official told IAN.

On October 12 the Chief Minister entrusted Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar with the Health ministry to fight the raging Covid pandemic, shifting B. Sriramulu to the Social Welfare department, which was with Deputy Chief Minister Govid Karjol.

The cabinet was last expanded on February 6 when 10 legislators, who defected from the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), were inducted after they won in the December 5 by-elections, caused by their resignations in July, 2019.This had led to the fall of the 14-month JDS-Congress coalition government on July 23, 2019 and the return of the BJP government on July 26, 2019.

The by-election in RR Nagar constituency has also been caused by the resignation of Munirathna from the seat in July 2019, who is re-contesting as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate. The by-election in Sira is due to the death of its JD-S member B. Satyanarayana on August 4.

Munirathna, if elected, will be one of the aspirants for the cabinet posts along with Congress defectors M.T.B. Nagaraj and R. Shankar who were elected to the state legislative Council in the June 22 biennial polls.

Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) defector A.H. Vishwanath who was nominated to the Council on July 22, is also in the race for a cabinet post along with 8-time BJP legislator Umesh Katti and C.P. Yogeshwar, who was also nominated to the Council (with inputs from agencies)

Image Credit: New Indian Express

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