Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa in Delhi to discuss flood relief, Cabinet reshuffle

The chief minister, who is on a three-day visit to the national capital starting Thursday, told reporters in New Delhi that he had sought an audience with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president JP Nadda and several Union ministers in...

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BENGALURU: Chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s visit to New Delhi to meet the BJP’s top leaders days before the beginning of the monsoon session of the Karnataka legislative assembly has again triggered speculations about a cabinet reshuffle that is long overdue.

The CM, who is on a three-day visit to the national capital starting Thursday, told reporters in New Delhi that he had sought an audience with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president JP Nadda and several Union ministers including defence minister Rajnath Singh and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

“I am here to discuss the state’s developmental issues and to seek permission to expand the Cabinet,” said Yediyurappa, who is on a visit to the capital after a gap of six months.


On top of the CM’s agenda is pressing the Centre for more compensation for flood relief work.

Yediyurappa over the past week has said Karnataka had incurred damage worth 8,000 crore during the recent floods, and the floods battering the state for three consecutive years and the Covid-19 crisis had caused enormous stress on the state’s finances.

Yediyurappa’s long-planned visit has also turned the spotlight on the pending task of completing a cabinet expansion or reshuffle.
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There are six vacancies in the Cabinet, which has a cap of 34 members. Yediyurappa has been under pressure to accommodate MLCs MTB Nagaraj and R Shankar who jumped the ship to help the BJP come to power. The lobbying is also intense to induct eight-time MLA Umesh Katti and party leader CP Yogeshwar who is also said to have played a major role in bringing the BJP government to power.

Meanwhile, water resources minister Ramesh Jarkiholi’s visit to the national capital (it is his third visit in six weeks) has also led to speculations that he is lobbying hard to get a deputy chief minister’s post.

However, party sources said the cabinet expansion or rejig was unlikely to happen before the legislature session. “The chief minister would not want to ruffle feathers right before the session,” a party leader said.

A section of leaders see Yediyurappa’s visit to Delhi on the pretext of seeking permission to expand the Cabinet as an attempt to placate those who are pestering him to expedite things for them.
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“Knowing well that the central leadership may not take a decision on the state Cabinet without consulting home minister Amit Shah who is under post-Covid treatment, the CM only wants to project that he is making all efforts from his side,” a party insider told ET.
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