BENGALURU: First Jharkhand, now Delhi, seems to be keeping the BJP central leadership busy. The BJP bosses, who had put off discussions on the cabinet expansion in Karnataka owing to Jharkhand elections, are now all tied up in preparations for the New Delhi assembly elections. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday announced that he would visit New Delhi over the weekend but with no guarantee of getting an audience with the central leadership.
While the Chief Minister is under immense pressure to expand the cabinet at the earliest, it looks like Karnataka cabinet expansion seems to be at the bottom of the priority list of the BJP top brass.
Eleven of the twelve newly-elected MLAs of the BJP who were promised cabinet berths have been waiting to be inducted as ministers ever since the results of December 5 bypolls were announced. Yediyurappa who was expected to discuss cabinet reshuffle and expansion with the party chiefs was asked to wait till the conclusion of Jharkhand elections. With the apparently inauspicious ‘Dhanur masa’ beginning last month, his visit to Delhi was further put off.
Yediyurappa is now all set to meet, consult and decide on the cabinet with the party central leadership but he has got indications that the Delhi top bosses are caught up with the Union Budget, the budget session, and most importantly, the Delhi assembly elections. After their defeat in Jharkhand, BJP bosses are said to be pulling out all stops to turn the tide in their favour in Delhi.
With the State Budget as well as cabinet expansion on his mind, Yediyurappa hopes to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “To discuss cabinet expansion and issues concerning budget, I will visit Delhi on January 11-12 and hope to meet PM, HM and FM,” said Yediyurappa. His office has no record of any confirmed meetings so far. Considering the State’s finances and murmurs of Centre planning to cut down funds, Yediyurappa is all set to make a case for the State. First, to appeal for all pending dues to be paid and then to appeal against cutting down of funds.