Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa said on Thursday that the much-awaited expansion of the cabinet in the state would happen at the earliest. He said that he would hold talks with the party high command immediately after the results of the by-election on 10 November.
Chief Minister Yeddyurappa said, “Our candidates are going to win by a huge margin in Sira and Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituencies, whose results will be announced on November 10.” He said that on that day or later, I will go to Delhi or talk to our national president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the phone and discuss the expansion of the cabinet as soon as possible.
Before the BJP state executive meeting in Mangaluru, he told reporters that he would expand the cabinet as soon as possible. Earlier in September, Yeddyurappa had visited Delhi to seek approval from the high command for cabinet expansion, but could not get the green signal. He had then said that the cabinet reshuffle would be based on the decision of the party leadership.
The path of cabinet expansion or reshuffle will not be easy for Yeddyurappa, as many leaders are involved in the race to become ministers. Many old leaders like eight-time MLA Umesh Katti are also waiting to become ministers. While rebel leaders of Congress-JD (S) like AH Vishwanath, R Shankar and MTB Nagaraj, who helped the BJP come to power and are now BJP MLC’s, are also waiting for the ministerial post.
As per the agreement, Yediyurappa will also have to keep space for Munirathna, if he wins the Rajarajeshwari Nagar seat in the bypoll, and also for Pratap Gowda Patil who needs to win the Maskibypoll that is yet to be announced.
The cabinet currently has 28 members and six seats are still vacant. However, right now Chief Minister Yeddyurappa is awaiting the results of the assembly by-election.
Meanwhile, speculations of a possible change in the state leadership, refuses to die down, owing to Yediyurappas age as party’s MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal gives credence to it with his statements.
Later, while speaking at the state executive meeting, Yediyurappa expressed confidence about the BJP coming back to power in the next assembly elections. In his opening remark, Yediyurappa mentioned that the government has taken serious cognisance of the love jihad debate and will tackle it.
Chief Minister Yeddyurappa said, “Recently there have been reports of conversion in Karnataka in the name of Love Jihad. I have spoken to the authorities about this. What other states are doing or not doing is a different matter. But this will be curbed in Karnataka. He said that the government will not sit silent when ‘jihadis’ are playing with the dignity of women in the state.”
Earlier, Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Wednesday that the government was considering bringing a law to stop conversion for marriage. At the same time, BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi had also tweeted recently that keeping in mind the order of Allahabad High Court, a law will be brought in Karnataka to stop conversion for marriage.