Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai hints at delay in cabinet expansion, to decide after meeting BJP’s top leadership

Published on Jul 29, 2021 07:11 PM IST

Bommai said that he would seek time from the BJP's central leadership to discuss the cabinet expansion in Karnataka during his visit to Delhi.

Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai.(PTI)
Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai.(PTI)
Written by Srivatsan K C | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday hinted at a delay in the state cabinet’s expansion and said that the decision regarding it will be taken following his meeting with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) central leadership in Delhi.

“I am going to Delhi tomorrow morning, there I will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh and BJP national president JP Nadda. This is my first visit (as CM), this will be to greet them and take their blessings,” news agency PTI quoted the chief minister as saying.

“When I go to Delhi to meet the party leadership, I will also try to meet our Members of Parliament and central ministers from Karnataka on the pending projects and issues concerning the state,” he added.

Bommai also said that he would seek the leadership’s time to discuss the cabinet expansion in the state and it might be finalised during the visit. He made the remarks at Hubballi, while he was on his way to visit the rain-hit Uttara Kannada district, earlier on Thursday.

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When asked about the ministerial aspirants who had already approached him for a berth, the CM replied that it was common. “Once someone becomes the CM and has to expand the cabinet, it is common,” he said.

Following BS Yediyurappa’s resignation from the top post on July 26, Bommai was elected as the CM after the BJP’s legislature party meeting on Tuesday. He took oath as the CM on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bommai said that Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and G Kishan Reddy, who were BJP’s central observers for Karnataka, wanted to discuss the cabinet expansion after they go to Delhi. “I had met central observers Dharmendra Pradhan, Kishan Reddy and general secretary (Arun) Singh (in the morning), they said let's not discuss it today, once they go back to Delhi let's see,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jagadish Shettar, former Karnataka chief minister and a minister in Yediyurappa’s cabinet, said that he had decided to not be a part of the new cabinet. “As I am a former chief minister and have seniority, I have decided not to be a part of the new cabinet. I was minister in the Yediyurappa cabinet despite being a former CM as he (Yediyurappa) is senior to me and I had worked in his government in the past too, but now keeping seniority and morality in view I am not ready to be part of the new cabinet,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

In reply to a question about Shettar’s comments, Bommai said “I have told him (Shettar) that I will come and speak to him personally. We have close bonding as we have grown together. We were friends even before we came to politics, so I have good regard, love and affection towards him and he too has similar feelings for me. We had a good relationship even when we were in different parties,” PTI reported.

Several senior leaders within the Karnataka BJP alongside those that joined from the Congress-JD(S) coalition in 2019 have expressed their intent to be part of the new cabinet.

(With agency inputs)

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