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CM’s own deadline for cabinet expansion nears, but he has uphill task

The Chief Minister had said there would be cabinet expansion before the end of January on the day he returned from Davos, a statement he reiterated on Monday in Holenarasipur.

Published: 28th January 2020 05:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2020 05:45 AM   |  A+A-

BSY, Yeddyurappa

Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa (File photo | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Going by his very statements, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has a self-imposed deadline of barely three days to expand his cabinet and induct new ministers. The Chief Minister had said there would be cabinet expansion before the end of January on the day he returned from Davos, a statement he reiterated on Monday in Holenarasipur.

Even as time is running out, cabinet expansion is still an uphill task with Yediyurappa having to choose just seven of the 11 newly-elected MLAs. Another challenge is dropping some incumbent ministers to make space for fresh faces. But the real struggle for him is containing dissent --- which is currently hush-hush but is threatening to spill over right after the expansion. Despite his assurance, sources close to the CM don’t believe that the path is clear for expansion just yet.

“All 11 are unlikely to be inducted. Yediyurappa may pick just seven of the newly-elected MLAs,” a BJP source said. This claim gives credence to the buzz within the BJP circles that the Delhi bosses have asked Yediyurappa not to prioritise party-hoppers at the cost of partymen. The notion seems to be that the defector MLAs have nowhere to go from the BJP and will wait if they are asked to for their turn. But, on the other hand, loyal party legislators may consider jumping to other parties if they don’t get due recognition.

“Delhi leadership is too busy with national issues and B L Santhosh  (BJP general secretary-organisation) in his meetings with Yediyurappa has already conveyed their decision. It is now up to Yediyurappa to decide who needs to be dropped and who can be accommodated. Delhi leadership wants Yediyurappa to handle the fallout, if any,” a source said. 

“Hence, he (Yediyurappa) is working towards strategies to assuage aspirants who may not be inducted. Back-channel communications and outreach efforts are on,” said a source privy to the ongoings within the State and Central BJP.

The delay in expanding the cabinet stems from Yediyurappa’s need to devise a please-all plan to keep his loyalists, party loyalists as well as the new entrants into the BJP happy. Yediyurappa’s repeated statements crediting the former disqualified MLAs publicly for him becoming Chief Minister is one such effort. 



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