Yediyurappa in Delhi, might focus on state cupboard rejig, by-poll candidates with BJP management

New Delhi/Bengaluru, January 10

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Sunday has said he will meet Home Minister Amit Shah during the day to discuss state politics and finalise candidates for the upcoming by-polls as he arrived in the national capital on a day-long visit.

The much-awaited cabinet rejig in the state may also come up for discussion during his meeting with the central BJP leadership, he said.

“I am going to discuss the political situation in Karnataka,” the CM told reporters after landing in Delhi.

“Recently, we won the gram panchayat elections in a very big way. Within a month, we are going to face two parliamentary and an assembly bypolls. We have to finalise the candidates. We will discuss all these issues with Amit Shah and other important leaders,” he added.

The BJP leader said while his appointment with the Home Minister was confirmed, he would also try to meet JP Nadda.

Asked about the steps taken to check the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the Chief Minister said: “In Karnataka, the COVID-19 situation is under control. We are taking all precautions.”

Earlier before leaving the Bangalore airport, he hinted that the cabinet expansion may also come up for discussion during his meeting with the party high command.

“I don’t know. I will discuss all the issues,” he told reporters at the airport when asked if a cabinet rejig is likely this week.

The cabinet expansion in the state has been on the cards for over a year now but it could not take place, giving some anxious moments to ministerial aspirants and also leading to dissatisfaction.

Among those in the ministerial race are MLAs Umesh Katti, Munirathna, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, M P Renukacharya, Aravind Limbavali and S R Vishwanath. Three MLCs — CP Yogeshwar, MTB Nagaraj and R Shankar — are too aspiring for a ministerial berth.

Another MLC, AH Vishwanath, too, was in the race but his hopes dashed when the Karnataka High Court on November 30 barred him from becoming a minister until at least May this year.

The state can have a total of 34 ministers and it has 27 now.

Bypolls are scheduled for Maski and Basavakalyan assembly segments, and Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency.

While Maski fell vacant due to the resignation of sitting Congress MLA Pratap Gouda Patil in 2019, the by-polls to Basavakalyan and Belagavi seats have been necessitated by the deaths of their representatives B Narayan Rao and Suresh Angadi, respectively, due to coronavirus.

“I will discuss all other issues with the party high command and wish to return in the night,” the Chief Minister said before he departed. PTI

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