Yediyurappa to expand Cabinet on Tuesday
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa will expand his over three-week-old Cabinet on Tuesday by inducting 18-20 legislators as ministers, an official said on Monday.
"Yediyurappa has written to state Governor Vajubhai Vala for arrangements to swear-in 18-20 legislators as ministers in Raj Bhavan on Tuesday from 10:30-11:30 a.m, an official of the Chief Minister's Office told IANS here.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) legislative party meeting will be held on Monday evening in the city where Yediyurappa will brief the members on the composition of the Cabinet and explain the exclusion of others.
"The chief minister is waiting for the arrival of party's national general secretary B.L. Santosh from New Delhi by evening with the list of names approved by party's national president Amit Shah in consultation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day," a party official told IANS.
After the first phase of expansion, the Chief Minister plans to fill the remaining dozen vacancies in the 34-member ministry a few months later.
The ruling party has 105 legislators in the 208-member Assembly, and support of an independent (H. Nagesh) after 17 of the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) rebel legislators were disqualified in July by previous Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar for defying their party's whip.
The Congress has 65 and JD-S 34 legislators in the House with 17 seats reduced.
If the Supreme Court upholds the disqualification, by-elections will be held within six months after its verdict.
All the 17 rebels have challenged their disqualification in the apex court on the grounds that they resigned from their Assembly seats before their party issued the whip.
Yediyurappa, 76, took oath for the fourth time as Chief Minister on July 26, but could not expansion his Cabinet for various reasons beyond his control, as the party's high command was busy with the Parliament session, legislative bills on Jammu and Kashmir and heavy rains and floods across the state over the last three weeks. IANS