Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday said the much awaited expansion of his cabinet will be discussed during his visit to New Delhi, where he will also be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and central Ministers regarding the development of the state. The Chief Minister, who was in the city to take part in Kalyana Karnataka Utsav programme, left for Delhi.
"I'm directly going to Delhi from here, I will be there tomorrow and the day after. Prime Minister has given time, seven to eight Ministers (Union Ministers) have also given time (for meeting)," Yediyurappa said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said during the visit he will hold discussions regarding cabinet expansion and the development of the state. "I will meet concerned Ministers and the Prime minister... I will return to Bengaluru on September 19," he added.
During the visit Yediyurappa is expected to meet top BJP leaders including party national President J P Nadda, during which the discussion on cabinet expansion is likely to come up, party sources said. Cabinet expansion or reshuffle is expected to be a tightrope walk for the 77-year-old leader, considering too many aspirants.
While several of the old guard are waiting for a chance to be inducted into the Ministry, those who defected from the Congress and JD(S) like A H Vishwanath, R Shankar and MTB Nagaraj, who are now BJP MLCs, are also aspiring for slots. The cabinet currently has 28 members and six berths are still vacant.
There are also strong speculations about the possible change in leadership in the future, considering Yediyurappa's age. However it has been rejected by senior party leaders like its state President Nalin Kumar Kateel, Minister R Ashoka among others.
Flood relief, development projects related to states and GST compensation are the key issues that are likely to figure during the Chief Minister's meeting with the Prime Minister and central Ministers. Karnataka has estimated the loss due to the recent floods to be around Rs 8,071 crore, and is seeking for enhanced relief from the Centre.
The BJP ruled Karnataka has opted for the first among the two options provided by the central government for borrowing, to meet the shortfall in GST revenues, under which the state will be eligible for total compensation of Rs 18,289 crore. Yediyurappa's travel to Delhi, comes ahead of the monsoon session of the state legislature from September 21 to 30, during which the opposition has decided to corner the government on flood and COVID management, financial condition of the state, among other things.