Karnataka cabinet expansion set for today as BS Yediyurappa gets go-ahead from Amit Shah: Caste equation a major challenge, say sources

  • BS Yediyurappa finally got the go-ahead on Saturday from BJP national president Amit Shah to undertake the expansion of the Karnataka cabinet

  • Yediyurappa had said he would hold talks with the party president Amit Shah and finalise the much-awaited expansion of his cabinet

  • BJP sources told PTI that there was a possibility that 13 ministers would take the oath Tuesday against the approved strength of 34

Having run the Karnataka government without a Cabinet for 22 days, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa finally has receieved the go-ahead from BJP national president Amit Shah to undertake the exercise today (20 August). "BJP legislative party meeting will be held on Tuesday 10 am at the Conference Hall, Vidhana Soudha. And the cabinet expansion will take place on the same day post noon," Yediyurappa tweeted. The chief minister further tweeted that mostly all the new ministers will be sworn in by noon on Tuesday.

Before leaving for Delhi on Thursday, Yediyurappa had said he would hold talks with the party president Amit Shah and finalise the much-awaited expansion of his Cabinet. BJP sources told PTI that there was a possibility that 13 ministers would take the oath Tuesday against the approved strength of 34 and that the rest of the positions would be filled later.

 Karnataka cabinet expansion set for today as BS Yediyurappa gets go-ahead from Amit Shah: Caste equation a major challenge, say sources

File image of chief minister BS Yediyurappa.

The delay was because the party was not able to finalise the names. Earlier, too, Yediyurappa had been to Delhi, but nothing could be ironed out.

The major challenge, party sources said, was the caste equation as there are 39 Lingayat MLAs, to which the chief minister also belongs.

Lingayats are the biggest support base for the BJP. The Lingayats are followed by the Vokkaligas, the most prominent faces among whom are former R Ashok, Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, CT Ravi and SR Vishwanath.

The party has also to give space to MLAs from the Dalit community, Scheduled Tribes, Brahmins and MLAs from Other Backward Communities (OBCs). The 17 disqualified MLAs belonging to the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition government might also have to be accommodated in the government.

The Congress and the JD(S) had been flaying the BJP for the inordinate delay in cabinet expansion and accused Yediyurappa of running a one-man government. Yediyurappa was sworn as Chief Minister for a fourth time on 26 July.

He alone took the oath succeeding HD Kumaraswamy three days after the Congress-JDS coalition government crumbled under the weight of a rebellion by a big chunk of its lawmakers when it lost the motion of confidence in the state assembly.

On 29 July, the BJP government in Karnataka won the confidence motion, ending the month-long political turbulence in the state.

Updated Date: Aug 20, 2019 00:06:40 IST