BSY to discuss cabinet expansion with BJP high command after Nov 10 bypolls

Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa said the much awaited expansion of his cabinet will take place at the earliest and he will talk to BJP high command in this regard, soon after bypoll results on Nov 10

B S Yediyurappa

Karnataka Chief Minister B S

Yediyurappa on Thursday said the much awaited expansion of his cabinet will take place at the earliest and he will talk to the party high command in this regard, soon after the assembly bypoll results on November 10.

"Our candidates are going to win with a huge margin in both Sira and Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituencies, results of which will be declared on November 10.

On that day or after that I will go to Delhi or talk to our national president (JP Nadda) and Amit Shah (union home minister)over phone and discuss about expanding the cabinet at the earliest," Yediyurappa said.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the BJP state executive meeting in Mangaluru, he said he will expand the cabinet at the earliest.

Earlier in September, Yediyurappa had paid a visit to Delhi to seek approval from the high command for the cabinet expansion, but failed to get any green signal.

He had then even hinted about the possibility of cabinet reshuffle by stating that things would depend on what the party leadership decides.

The cabinet expansion or reshuffle is expected to be a tightrope walk for 77-year-old Yediyurappa, considering that there are too many aspirants.

While several of the old guard like 8-time MLA Umesh Katti are awaiting a chance to be inducted into the Ministry, Congress-JD(S) rebels like A H Vishwanath, R Shankar and M T B Nagaraj, who helped the BJP come to power and are now BJP MLCs, are also aspiring for slots.

As per the agreement, Yediyurappa will also have to keep space for Munirathna, if he wins the Rajarajeshwari Nagar seat in the bypoll, and also for Pratap Gowda Patil who needs to win the Maski bypoll that is yet to be announced.

The cabinet currently has 28 members, and six berths are still vacant.

Meanwhile, despite the state BJP denying it, speculation about a possible change in leadership in the future, considering Yediyurappas age, refuses to die down, with some within the party like MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal giving credence to it with their statements.

Later speaking at the state executive meeting, Yediyurappa expressed confidence about the BJP coming back to power by winning a minimum of 140-150 seats in the 224-member assembly in the next assembly polls.

He urged the workers not to take any election lightly and to strengthen the organisation where the party is not strong.

BJP will win Rajarajeshwari Nagar bypolls by a margin of over 40,000 votes and over 20,000-25,000 votes in Sira, he claimed as he predicted defeat for the Congress.