Yediyurappa Hints At Karnataka Cabinet Expansion Or Reshuffle Before May 10

New Delhi: Karnataka BJP strongman BS Yediyurappa on Friday hinted that the much-awaited expansion or reshuffle of the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai-led cabinet in the state, may take place before May 10. The former chief minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon take a decision in this regard after discussion with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who had visited the city earlier this week.

“…information has come that in three to four days after discussing with everyone. It might be done before May 10, at the earliest the Prime Minister after discussion with Amit Shah will decide on cabinet expansion and other things,” Yediyurappa said in response to a question.

Speaking to reporters here, he said talks about replacing the Chief Minister are mere speculations. “There is no such thing,” he added.

Bommai had replaced Yediyurappa as Chief Minister in July last year.

On Thursday, Bommai had said that he is ready to go to New Delhi to discuss about the state cabinet, as soon as the BJP central leadership calls him.

With the state cabinet meeting that was scheduled to be held on May 5 getting postponed to May 11, speculation is rife that it may be to accommodate expansion or reshuffle of the ministry, amid reports that the BJP high command is expected to arrive at a decision in this regard before May 10.

Shah’s visit to the city on Tuesday had come amid buzz over possible changes in the leadership, and pressure to rejig or expand the cabinet, ahead of the Assembly polls in 2023.

Several top BJP leaders have denied speculations about Bommai’s replacement.

According to top BJP sources, Shah too is said to have asked Bommai to focus on development and election preparations, and leave the rest to the party leadership.

Amid murmurs in the BJP circles that a top-to-bottom overhaul of the cabinet cannot be ruled out, ministerial aspirants are hopeful that a decision is likely soon regarding cabinet expansion or reshuffle, and there are even talks that several incumbents could make way for fresh faces.

Bommai is under pressure from aspirants to expand or reshuffle his cabinet at the earliest, ahead of the polls next year.

There are currently five positions vacant in the state cabinet, which has 29 ministers, including the chief minister, against the sanctioned strength of 34.

Some legislators have even been advocating a Gujarat-like overhaul of the Karnataka cabinet soon, to make way for new faces, ahead of the assembly elections.

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