Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday said that the list of seven new ministers, who will be inducted into the cabinet would be announced at 4 pm on Wednesday. He added that BJP President JP Nadda will be invited for the swearing-in ceremony. The chief minister has indicated that seven new faces will be inducted into the cabinet but did not clarify whether it will be an expansion or reshuffle of the cabinet. Recently, Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa met Home Minister Amit Shah. BJP President JP Nadda and BJP national general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Arun Singh were also present during this period.
After this meeting, Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa had said that he was 100 per cent sure that this was the last meeting. He further added that seven members will be included in the cabinet and the list will arrive in the morning. It is expected that the ministers can take oath on the evening of 13 January. He also said that the high command will confirm the names.
The Karnataka cabinet has 27 ministers, including the chief minister. Seven seats in the cabinet were vacant. When it has now become clear that the much-awaited cabinet expansion/reshuffle will finally take place this week, the leaders intending to take up the post of the minister have stepped up efforts. There are speculations that Arvind Limbavali, MTB Nagaraj, Shankar R, Unniratna, Sunil Kumar, Arvind Bellad, Purnima and Umesh Katti may be given a place in the new cabinet.
Yeddyurappa on Sunday held talks with Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the Cabinet expansion exercise in New Delhi. After returning from New Delhi late on Sunday night, the Chief Minister said that seven members would be inducted into the cabinet and he would decide their names after deliberations on Monday.
Yeddyurappa had been waiting for the cabinet to expand for a long time. The BJP president, during a meeting with him in New Delhi on November 18, had asked to wait for the approval of the central leadership for this exercise.
Party sources in New Delhi said that two ministers are likely to be dropped from the cabinet including independent MLA and incumbent Excise Minister H Nagesh and Women and Child Welfare Minister SasikalaJolle.
On the news of his removal from the cabinet, Excise Minister H Nagesh said that he was not aware of any such move. He said “It was me who paved the way for the formation of BJP government and the Chief Minister and people of the state know about it.
Another minister at the centre of such speculation, SasikalaJolle, was unaware of this but said that she would abide by the high command’s decision.
Cabinet expansion/reshuffle is likely to be a difficult exercise as the old leaders of the party, as well as leaders from the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular), are in the hope of getting a place in the Council of Ministers. BJP was able to form a government only because of the rebellion leaders from these two opposition parties.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Siddaramaiah taunted about the expansion of the cabinet in Karnataka and asked whether it was right that Yeddyurappa would be removed as CM? He further said, “I do not know when this will be done but Yeddyurappa will be removed.”