K’taka CM Bommai reaches New Delhi, Cabinet expansion on cards amid hijab row

Amid the hijab row threatening to evolve as a major crisis in the state, ruling BJP is witnessing heavy political activities inside the party as Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has reached New Delhi on Monday.

As per sources in the party, CM Bommai is going to discuss Cabinet expansion and cabinet reshuffle with the BJP high command.

Though officially the CM stated that he would discuss with MPs, legal experts and senior counsels who are arguing for the state regarding inter-state water disputes, Cabinet expansion will be discussed on priority as senior BJP legislators in the state are insisting for Cabinet berth. With the state Congress unit threatening ‘reverse operation lotus’, the visit has assumed importance.

The sources explain that as many as seven cabinet ministers who are holding plum posts will be dropped. Hence, these senior ministers are busy lobbying with their godfathers in New Delhi to retain their posts.

Sources said that CM Bommai has met former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa before the trip and took his suggestions on Cabinet expansion and future strategies regarding organisation of the party in the backdrop of general elections scheduled to be held in 2023.

The high command is going to take a call on the crucial issue of providing Cabinet posts to Yediyurappa’s son B.Y. Vijayendra which will have direct consequences on Yediyurappa’s involvement in the upcoming Assembly elections. The sidelining of Yediyurappa has proved costly to the party during bypolls.

The party is also going to take call on providing cabinet berth to former minister Ramesh Jarakiholi, accused of sex CD case. Jarkiholi, a prominent backward leader, is one among the major leaders who installed the BJP government after the collapse of Congress-JD (S) coalition government in Karnataka. Now, he is into hectic lobbying with high command for plum post for himself or his brother BJP MLA Balachandra Jarakiholi.

Yediyurappa’s close associate M.P. Renukacharya has expressed his outrage in public and demanded that 15 cabinet ministers, who are slack and unresponsive, be dropped from the Cabinet.

State-in-charge Arun Singh had made a personal call and pacified him. Senior legislators, Tippa Reddy from Chitradurga, Abhay Patil from Belagavi, Basavana Gouda Patil Yatnal from Vijayapura, Satish Reddy from Bengaluru have conveyed their wishes to become ministers on the basis of their seniority.

CM Bommai has stated that he had conveyed the feelings of legislators to the high command and will discuss as and when the party leadership takes up the issue.

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