Karnataka Cabinet expansion likely after Sankranti

‘Only Ministerial expansion can end speculation’

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa is learnt to have made a strong pitch for Cabinet expansion/reshuffle with BJP national general secretary Arun Singh, who is on a three-day trip to the State for the party’s State Executive meet in Shivamogga, arguing that it would put to rest speculations over leadership change.

A call on the exercise, however, will be taken only after Sankranti by Union Home Minister Amit Shah who is scheduled to visit the State around the festival, sources in the party said.

Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, lobbying hard to get Ministerial berth for all defectors, said in Belagavi on Saturday that though their demand was to take up Cabinet expansion on Sunday itself, they had now accepted the decision of “higher-ups” that it was possible only after Sankranti on January 14.

“It is believed to be an inauspicious season till then,” he said.

Mr. Yediyurappa met Mr. Singh with senior Ministers Govind M. Karjol and Basavaraj Bommai in the city on Saturday and flew to Shivamogga together.

The Chief Minister is learnt to have also expressed dissatisfaction over the party’s silence on the issue of dissenter MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal making repeated statements alluding to leadership change in the State.

“Mr. Singh is expected to make a statement in the State Executive meet to give out a message to such dissenting voices to not make such public comments,” a close associate of the Chief Minister said.

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