BENGALURU: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who completed one year in office, is said to be getting ready for a reshuffle of his cabinet. He has already consulted the party higher-ups and is expected to fill up at least three to four of the five vacancies, considering that the Assembly elections are just eight months away, party sources said. The issue was taken up during the recent visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Bengaluru and Bommai’s consultations with the party leadership, they added.
Party state vice-president BY Vijayendra’s entry into the cabinet has been ruled out and sources said he will have to wait for the next BJP government to be inducted. While “tainted” former ministers KS Eshwarappa and Ramesh Jarkiholi, who have since received clean chits after allegations were made against them, are working hard for their reinduction, Bommai is unlikely to take them in, the sources said.
The change of state party president Nalin Kumar Kateel is almost certain as his term comes to an end, they said. The names of Energy Minister Sunil Kumar, Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje and party National General Secretary CT Ravi are doing the rounds. Sunil is young, hails from the backward Billava community and enjoys good relations with former chief minister BS Yediyurappa.
Ravi likely to replace Kateel as party chief
SOURCES said, If BS Yediyurappa is made the party chief, there will be six vacancies in the ministry. With one or two ministers likely to be assigned party work, some new faces may be inducted into the cabinet from unrepresented communities and districts, the sources said. But the post will most likely go to Ravi, they said.
Also, after PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Union Minister Pralhad Joshi’s residence, there was some buzz about the change in leadership in the state. But party sources said Modi’s visit was concerning the VP polls and had nothing remotely connected to the change in state leadership.