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January 24, 2020

Karnataka Cabinet expansion in three days: BSY

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Bengaluru, Jan 24: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday said the much-delayed Cabinet expansion will take place in the next three days.

At the Kempegowda International Airport, after his arrival from Davos, he informed that he would discuss the matter with Union Home Minister Amit Shah to take a final decision on the distribution of important portfolios.

Deputy CM Ashwanath Narayna, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and others received the Chief Minister at the airport. The issue of Cabinet expansion was kept in abeyance, ever since the spectacular victory of 12 Assembly seats for BJP, for which the by-elections were held recently. The bypolls were necessitated, following the resignation of about 17 sitting Congress and JD (S) MLAs, which resulted in the collapse of the JDS-Congress coalition government in the state.

BJP had reportedly lured the Congress and JD (S) MLAs into their camp, after promising them to give party ticket to contest the elections, as well as ministerial berths. The Chief Minister had kept as many as 16 Cabinet berths, along with plum portfolios, vacant, after forming the BJP government, with the support of the deserted Congress and JD (S) MLAs, in July last. However, the issue of Cabinet expansion had postponed on one reason or the other, as Yediyurappa was struggling to keep the promise he had made to the former Congress and the JDS MLAs, on whose sacrifice the BJP came back to power.

With the strong demand for ministerial berths within the loyal BJP MLAs, the BJP high command had reportedly advised Yediyurappa to accommodate only a few of the turncoat MLAs and strike balance between the groups.

However, Yediyurappa, who had assured the Congress and JD (S) MLAs of giving them Cabinet berths, had been in dilemma ever since and found it tough to convince the party's Central leaders.

According to party sources, the Chief Minister is not only facing problems over the expansion of his Cabinet, but is also worried over the demand for creation of more number of Deputy Chief Ministers, adding to the present list of three.

Karnataka Cabinet expansion in three days: BSY

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