BENGALURU: Basavaraj Bommai will complete one year as chief minister July-end, but the State government is yet to finalise the names for boards and corporations, which have been functioning without chairpersons. The state has over 70 boards and corporations, for which MLAs from the ruling party are appointed as chiefs.
Ahead of the Assembly elections in 2023, the list of aspirants is long and it is not easy for the chief minister to make these appointments. A senior BJP leader, on condition of anonymity, told The New Indian Express that around 50 boards and corporations do not have chairpersons and also these entities have not received sufficient funds.
When BS Yediyurappa became chief minister in 2019, he appointed chairpersons to majority of boards and corporations only in 2020 and some in 2021. But their tenures ended abruptly when he stepped down as chief minister last year. Bommai, since taking over as chief minister, has not appointed any chairpersons.
“Many Ministers and MLAs are pressurising Bommai and state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel. As the Assembly elections are less than a year away, it is important to keep local leaders on good terms. The Cabinet reshuffle may not happen and the only hope for MLAs is boards and corporations,” the leader said.
Over the last year, Bommai has had many challenges, including the bypolls and MLC elections and these are said to be another reason for the delay. In fact, Kateel in January had said chairpersons to boards and corporations would be announced soon. But it has been close to six months and nothing has happened. BJP state General Secretary N Ravikumar said the list is expected to be out in four to five days.
Bommai is likely to retain many chairpersons appointed by Yediyurappa. Asked if the list has to get the approval of the party high command, party sources said unlike the ministers, chiefs to boards and corporations are decided at the state level.
“There is pressure on Bommai for cabinet expansion too and that has to be approved by party leaders in Delhi. But there is even higher pressure to appoint chairpersons to boards and corporations as these are decided locally,” the sources added.