Karnataka Cabinet to have 26 new Ministers, swearing-in likely today
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is set to appoint as many as 26 new Ministers for the state Cabinet today. Bommai has received the nod from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) high command in New Delhi for the fresh Cabinet, News18 reported citing party sources. The swearing-in ceremony will likely take place at 2:15 pm in Bengaluru, government officials told the media.
"Cabinet expansion will take place tomorrow. If I get the clearance from the central party leadership tomorrow morning, the oath-taking ceremony will be held in the evening," Bommai had told reporters in Delhi on Tuesday.
The new Karnataka CM was in Delhi for the past couple of days, holding discussions with the BJP central leadership over an expansion of his Cabinet. He had landed in the capital city on Monday and returned to Karnataka this morning, according to reports. In Delhi, Bommai held consultations with the BJP national president JP Nadda.
Party sources told News18 that many BJP leaders have called on Bommai, requesting a place in the new Cabinet. They include former Agriculture Minister BC Patil, Murugesh Nirani, Shivanagouda Naik, Mahesh Kumathalli, KG Bopaiah, Dr. CN Ashwath Narayan, and V Somanna, the publication reported. There has also been speculation about former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's son BY Vijayendra's induction in the Cabinet.
Reports say that Yediyurappa had been pressurizing Bommai, demanding a ministerial berth for his son. However, party sources said the BJP leadership has strongly opposed that demand. They argue such a step would create a parallel power center in the state government.
Bommai has also relieved several advisers appointed in the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) by his predecessor Yediyurappa and his three deputies. Nearly a dozen were removed from the CMO, according to a notification on August 2. They included M Lakshminarayana, MR Doreswamy, Beluru Sudarshan, Prashant Prakash, Sunil, Brungesh, NR Santosh, Mohan Limbikai, DN Jeevaraj, Renukacharya, Selva Kumar, and Shankargouda Patil.
Bommai was sworn-in as the 23rd Chief Minister of Karnataka on July 28 after Yediyurappa's exit. Yediyurappa resigned abruptly after serving as the CM for two years. Soon after taking oath, Bommai had visited Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also met with several Union Ministers, including Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.