List of 24 ministers to be announced by today evening

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai


Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai made a courtesy call on Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday.

Bengaluru: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai made a courtesy call on Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday. Bommai who was in the national capital to discuss matters related to the expansion of his cabinet with the BJP leadership, also met BJP Karnataka unit in-charge Arun Singh and Union Home Minister Amith Shah and the final list is expected on Wednesday.

The newly-appointed CM is said to be very keen to have the oath-taking ceremony of new ministers the same day as the list gets finalised. He is likely to balance various factors in selecting his ministers and his assurance that those who defected to the BJP from JDS and Congress paving the way for Yediyurappa to form the government in 2019 have nothing to worry, has given the MLAs reason to cheer.

There are several former ministers aspiring to find place in the Bommai Cabinet. One of them is former agriculture minister B C Patil, who met Bommai. Though he maintained that his meeting was related to an irrigation project in his constituency, his anxiety to bag ministerial berth was apparent. Asked whether he spoke to the CM about a ministerial berth, he said, "The CM is aware of it. He has already spoken about it (cabinet expansion) to the media that he will do it at the earliest. So I did not discuss this with him."

Besides Patil, Murugesh Nirani, Shivanagouda Naik, Mahesh Kumathalli, K G Bopaiah, Dr C N Ashwath Narayan and V Somanna were among those who called on the Chief Minister, party sources said.

According to the reports, the final list of the new Cabinet will be announced by the BJP high command and State leaders will have no say in it. It is claimed that names of 24 MLAs will be announced by Wednesday, who will be taking oath in the same evening.

"The expansion will be done in a balanced way keeping in mind the previous team. Cabinet formation, including whether it should be done in several stages or at one go, will be decided by the high-command and no state leaders will be involved during the selections. The selections by the high-command will be completely based on the performance report," said party sources.

BJP chief J.P. Nadda and Bommai have discussed the probables to be inducted, the size of the Cabinet and number of Deputy CM. On Tuesday, Bommai also met BJP national general secretary (Organisation) B.L. Santhosh to discuss Cabinet formation.

After meeting Amit Shah in the evening, Bommai returned to Bengaluru at 9 pm.

This is the second visit of Bommai to Delhi after being sworn in as the Chief Minister after Yediyurappa resigned.

Speculation that the new CM will not have many of the old faces has given jitters to a section of MLAs, including 'turncoats'. They are said to have come together, projecting themselves as one bloc, and are trying to bring collective pressure on both Yediyurappa and Bommai to secure their places in the Cabinet. BJP members, however, said the CM may induct only some of them in view of compulsions to strike a balance region-wise and caste-wise.

Some of the leaders in the CM's race such as R Ashoka, Murugesh Nirani and Aravind Bellad are now trying for a better Cabinet rank in the government. Also it is said that many have taken to lobbying for deputy CM posts, as the new Cabinet is likely to have three DCMs. But the sources from the party claim that the names of Govind Karjol, from among the Dalits, R. Ashok from among Vokkaligas, and B. Sriramulu from the Valmiki community have almost been finalised.

Meantime, C.N. Ashwath Narayan and Laxman Savadi, DCMs in the previous dispensation, have been lobbying hard to retain their posts. Senior minister and former DCM K.S. Eshwarappa was on temple visits on Tuesday.

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