Bengaluru: With Cabinet expansion or reshuffle on the cards in Karnataka, political hobnobbing and aspirants openly expressing their ministerial ambitions have intensified within the ruling BJP in the state.
A day after a section of BJP legislators met at senior minister Ramesh Jarkiholi residence and reportedly discussed Cabinet exercise, delegations of party public representatives from Chitradurga and Davangere met Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday.
Though the meeting was officially on various developmental activities concerning their districts, it gave rise to speculation about the delegations seeking ministerial berth for their regions, during reshuffle or expansion of Cabinet this time.
Emerging from the meeting, senior BJP MLA from Chitradurga G H Thippareddy said he was an aspirant for the ministerial berth, but will abide by the decision of the party leadership.
“On the basis of seniority I have expressed my desire to become minister, but by making repeated requests I will not cause embarrassment to the Chief Minister.
As a senior politician I”m aware of the constraints. If the party and the Chief Minister give me a chance with utmost happiness I will work for development,” he said.
The six-time MLA, who had in the past expressed his deep resentment on not being inducted to the Cabinet, even terming it as “insult”, today said, “if I”m not given a ministerial berth, without causing any embarrassment to the party, I will abide by the decision.”
Another party MLA Poornima Srinivas said everyone will have a desire to become a minister, but the party will have to take a decision and it knows whom to choose.
“We will abide by its decision.Party decision is our decision,” she said.
Several other party legislators including Chief Minister’s political secretary and MLA MP Renukukacharya also met Yediyurappa.
Political activities intensified within the BJP camp in the state after Yediyurappa indicated Cabinet reshuffle is on cards, following the party’s victory in the bypolls to two assembly constituencies.
The Chief Minister has said that he will soon be travelling to New Delhi to discuss with the party’s central leadership in this regard and get their approval, as he hinted about reshuffle by dropping or inducting some ministers.
According to some leaders in the BJP, the Chief Minister may get a chance to have discussions with high command only after the Bihar government formation, and there will be clarity on whether it will be expansion or reshuffle, only after Yediyurappa speaks to central leaders.
Some ministerial aspirant MLAs met at Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi”s residence on Wednesday and reportedly discussed the Cabinet exercise and regarding chances of them making it to the list this time.
However, rejecting it, Jarkiholi told reporters that the legislators had come for lunch and there was nothing significant about it.
The Cabinet expansion or reshuffle is expected to be a tightrope walk for Yediyurappa, considering that there are too many aspirants.
While several of the old guard like 8-time MLA Umesh Katti are awaiting a chance to be inducted into the Ministry, Congress-JD(S) rebels like A H Vishwanath, R Shankar and M T B Nagaraj, who helped the BJP come to power and are now party MLCs, are also aspiring for slots.
As per the agreement, Yediyurappa will also have to keep space for Munirathna, following his win from Rajarajeshwari Nagar seat in the bypoll, and also for Pratap Gowda Patil who needs to win the Maski bypoll that is yet to be announced.
The Cabinet currently has 27 members, and seven berths are still vacant.