Yediyurappa to consult Modi, Shah for Cabinet expansion

Yediyurappa, during the meeting with the prime minister and central ministers will seek central aid for the flood ravaged state, where relief and rehabilitation work is under progress

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday said he will be in Delhi for the next two days during which he would hold talks with party President Amit Shah and finalise the much awaited expansion of his cabinet.

The chief minister, who will leave for the national capital tonight, would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of Union ministers during his visit.

Yediyurappa said he would discuss, in addition, several developmental works concerning the state and central relief to flood and ravaged districts. “Tomorrow in the morning at 10 AM, a meeting has been fixed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and on certain developmental works relating to the state I will be meeting several ministers, including the Railway Minister among others,” Yediyurappa said. Speaking to reporters here, he said, “I will be in Delhi tomorrow and the day after… I will talk to Amit Shah, too, regarding cabinet and come to final decision before coming back.”

Yediyurappa, who took oath as the Chief Minister on 26 July and proved his government’s majority on the floor of the assembly on 29 July, is yet to induct any ministers into his Cabinet.

With Yediyurappa heading a ‘one-man’ Cabinet and with no Ministers, other than Bengaluru City in all other districts, sub-divisions and talukas, respective deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners and tehsildars had to hoist the national flag during Independence day celebrations on Thursday. In the normal course, ministers do the honours at district headquarters.

According to party sources, only 10 to 12 members are likely to be inducted into the ministry in the first round.

Opposition parties, the Congress and JD(S), have hit out at the BJP over the delay in Cabinet expansion, and had raised questions even on the existence of a government. They had said Yediyurappa’s one-man Cabinet “resembled President’s Rule”.

Meanwhile, lobbying has started within the BJP for Cabinet berths, with supporters of former minister Baburao Chinchansur, who had left the Congress and joined the saffron party last year and was instrumental in it defeating Mallikarjun Kharge from Kalburgi in the Lok Sabha polls, meeting Yediyurappa with a demand to induct him into the ministry.

According to the chief minister’s schedule, Yediyurappa will meet Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri this evening. On Saturday, Yediyurappa would meet several other Union ministers.

According to sources, Yediyurappa, during the meeting with the prime minister and central ministers will seek central aid for the flood ravaged state, where relief and rehabilitation work is under progress.

Responding to a question about the alleged delay by the Centre in releasing flood relief, Yediyurappa said, “Why delay? There is a calamity in Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka also, they will consider everything…”

Karnataka had recently requested the Centre to release Rs 3,000 crore as interim relief immediately. According to the government, 103 talukas in 22 districts have been affected by floods and incessant rains in the past few days.

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