BENGALURU: Fuelling speculation regarding expansion of his cabinet to fill four vacant berths, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday on a two-day visit, said that he will try to meet BJP national president J P Nadda and discuss the issue. Nadda was expected to participate in the wedding reception of Union Minister Pralhad Joshi’s daughter on Tuesday evening.
His statement assumes significance as several aspirants are pinning their hopes on the outcome of the CM’s trip ahead of the 10-day Assembly session which begins on September 13. Earlier in the day, he met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and sought assistance to implement various Centrally-sponsored schemes in Karnataka. “The FM has promised to instruct the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and NABARD, the nodal agencies for funding MSME projects in Karnataka. When the schemes are implemented, she will personally inaugurate them,” Bommai told reporters.
The state plans to implement the One-District-One-Product scheme on a big scale to help skilled workers, women entrepreneurs from the Scheduled Castes and Self Help Groups (SHGs) which generate jobs, besides promoting entrepreneurship, the CM explained. “The state’s financial situation and GST dues were also discussed in the meeting,” he added, but did not divulge whether the FM promised to release the state’s share.
The CM also presented a memorandum to Railway Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw later in the evening regarding projects which were announced in the past, but did not take off due to various reasons. He mentioned the Bengaluru suburban railway network, for which administrative approval has been given, the Hubballi-Ankola line, which has been put on the backburner due to legal issues despite a new DPR being prepared. The CM also brought to the notice of the minister the long-pending demand for setting up a railway division in Kalaburagi to boost economic activities in the region.
On Wednesday morning, the CM is scheduled to meet Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari to discuss National Highway projects which are ongoing in Karnataka. He will also meet Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri with regard to housing schemes and expansion of the Metro project.