The cabinet expansion in Karnataka is likely to take place after January 15 and the ruling BJP will not ignore the old guards while inducting leaders who had rebelled against the erstwhile Congress-JDS government, BJP sources said on Tuesday.
The sources said there was no scope for induction of another deputy chief minister and the BJP would make efforts to pacify a few "disgruntled party MLAs" and accommodate them in some other posts.
The ruling BJP had swept the by-elections on December 5, winning 12 of the 15 seats, helping the four-month-old Yediyurappa government retain majority in the Assembly.
On the delay in cabinet expansion in Karnataka, the sources said it was not due to disgruntled elements. It is because the current period till January 14 is "inauspicious" and normally no fresh initiative is taken during this period.
"All new activities will begin after Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti festival on January 15. Be it election of new national BJP president or state presidents or for that matter cabinet expansion in Karnataka -- all will be done during the auspicious period," one of the sources added.
On December 13, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had said that the ministry expansion was likely to take place after December 20 or 22 after discussions with the party high command.
Yediyurappa has made it clear that the 11 MLAs, who successfully contested the bypolls on party tickets after being disqualified for rebelling against the Congress-JDS government, would be made ministers.
The party had fielded a total 13 such MLAs who rebelled against the Congress-JDS government, leading to its fall.
Meanwhile, lobbying has intensified for ministerial berths by both BJP old guards and new entrants.
The old guards are seem to be upset at being "neglected" in the first round of cabinet expansion.
The chief minister will also have to give adequate representation to various castes and regions in his cabinet.
The cabinet currently has 18 members including the chief minister as against a sanctioned strength of 34.
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