Ahead of New Delhi visit; Karnataka CM Bommai says he will not discuss filling vacant berths in cabinet

There are currently 30 Ministers in the Karnataka Cabinet including the Chief Minister, against the sanctioned strength of 34.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai who will leave for New Delhi on Tuesday afternoon for two days clarified that there will be no discussions with the BJP high command this time, regarding filling up four vacant cabinet berths.

Bommai said he will only meet the Union minister’s to discuss various projects related to the state and he will attend the Union Minister Pralhad Joshi’s daughter’s wedding reception in the national capital.

“There is no appointment to meet BJP National President J P Nadda as of now. I will meet him at Union Minister Pralhad Joshi’s daughter’s wedding reception there, I will talk to him,” Bommai said while adding that there will be no discussion on filling up four vacant cabinet berths, with the BJP high command, during his visit this time.

This is the fourth visit to New Delhi by Bommai after taking charge as the Chief Minister on July 28. Last month the new cabinet was formed where there are currently 30 Ministers including the Chief Minister, against the sanctioned strength of 34.

After the expansion, there are many aspirants for the remaining four cabinet berths and the according to saffron party sources told Indian Express that many legislators are pressuring the Chief Minister to expand the cabinet and fill up vacant berths.

Speaking to Indian Express, a senior BJP functionary on condition of anonymity said, “in the present cabinet a majority of them are outsiders who have got the ministerial position while some of those who have been serving the party for decades were left out, this has become quite evident in the inner circles. In this visit of CM to Delhi, he may likely discuss this issue and filling the vacant berths.”

Some of the senior BJP legislators who are in contention for ministerial berths are Yelahanka MLA S R Vishwanath, Bengaluru South MLA M Krishnappa, Bommanahalli MLA M Satish Reddy, Krishnaraja MLA S A Ramadas, Vijayapura MLA Basanagouda Patil Yanal and Hubli-Dharwad west MLA Arvind Bellad.

In the present state cabinet, the BJP has chosen more turncoats those who quit the JDS and Congress in 2019 and helped the saffron party form the government than BJP old-timers.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister informed that he will meet Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday, Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari and Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday on the two day trip to the national capital.

“There are various projects and proposals of the state to be discussed with union ministers. I will discuss our PWD and National Highway proposals With Gadkari, while will be discussing with the Finance minister regarding the release of funds for centrally sponsored schemes, and with Housing & Urban Affairs Minister during his visit to Bengaluru recently to inaugurate Bengaluru metro extension line we had discussed various projects like urban housing and metro extension, I will discuss with him in detail on this once again,” Bommai said.

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