Karnataka cabinet expansion, flood relief in Yediyurappa’s Delhi visit plan
Several aspirants, including some who crossed over from Congress and JDS to help BJP form the government, are waiting in the wings to get into the cabinet.Updated: Sep 16, 2020 22:43 IST
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa will be travelling to Delhi on Friday to seek financial aid for flood relief but is also likely to discuss cabinet expansion, which has been hanging fire due to the outbreak of Covid pandemic.
Revenue minister R Ashoka, speaking to the media in Raichur, said that since the state had suffered Rs 8,071 crore losses due to floods this year, the CM will meet several union ministers at the Centre to discuss special relief for the state. The minister also pointed out that for the third successive year, large parts of Karnataka had been ravaged by floods and the Centre had sent a team recently to assess the extent of damage.
During his visit, Yediyurappa is also likely to discuss cabinet expansion and reshuffle. Several aspirants, including some who crossed over from Congress and JDS to help BJP form the government, are waiting in the wings to get into the cabinet.
A senior cabinet minister who did not want to be identified said: “This exercise has been overdue and everybody has been waiting patiently as all attention has been consumed in combating Covid. Not just aspirants who came from other parties to help us form government but some of our loyal MLAs who are 5-6 term legislators. They also need to be rewarded.”
Some of the BJP MLAs like Umesh Katti, MP Kumaraswamy, Appachu Ranjan, Murgesh Nirani, Paranna Munavalli and N Thippa Reddy have been vocal about how they are aspirants for ministerial positions. While Yediyurappa has tried to accommodate some as chairmen of various boards and corporations of the state run entities, some have rejected those offers.
Political analyst Manjunath said that the CM needs to do a careful balancing act of taking care of caste and regional interests as well as those of loyalists. “While ostensibly he is going to ask for immediate release of flood relief, cabinet expansion which has been stalled for nearly six months now would definitely be on the agenda. There are six vacancies, so some ‘non-performing’ ministers might be dropped and others accommodated with a few vacancies remaining to ensure that there is no trouble.”