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Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said that directions from BJP central leadership for cabinet expansion were likely to come by Monday (2nd August). He said this during an interaction with reporters who asked whether it would take a week for him to receive directions from the party high command for cabinet expansion. "It won't take a week...I expect it today or tomorrow," the chief minister said.

On July 28, Bommai had taken oath as the Chief Minister following the resignation of his predecessor B S Yediyurappa. He is the lone cabinet member of his government as of now.

On Saturday, Bommai said he was likely to get a message from the BJP high command on cabinet expansion in a couple of days and will have to leave for New Delhi once again to finalise it.

"I couldn't meet J P Nadda (BJP National President) today, but had met him yesterday. Most likely they will send a message to me in two days and I'll have to go to Delhi once again. We will finalise the cabinet," the chief minister said.

Bommai was on a two-day visit to Delhi during which he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Nadda, a host of central Ministers, MPs and Ministers from Karnataka, among others.

Later in the evening, the Chief Minister had assured that the cabinet expansion would be done at the earliest and will not take much time. He also clarified that he had not submitted any list of Ministers to the high command. He said he may get a call from the high command on Monday and will soon go to Delhi.

"Ours is a national party. Suggestions and discussions should happen. After that a decision will be taken (on cabinet expansion)," he added.

PTI reports that ministerial aspirants have continued lobbying to secure a berth in the new cabinet. While several legislators, including some former Ministers, are camping in Delhi and are lobbying to make it to the new cabinet, some have openly expressed their aspirations to become Ministers.

The report said some legislators like Ramesh Jarkiholi, M P Renukacharya and Munirathna have met former Chief Minister and BJP veteran B S Yediyurappa at his residence.

Demanding a Ministerial post, Haveri MLA Neharu Olekar said he should be given an opportunity in the new cabinet and it is the wish of party workers from the constituency, who have even staged a demonstration.

"Our fight will not end. This is the third time and I should be given the opportunity... I'm confident that the leaders will bless me. No opportunity has been given so far to anyone from the Chalawadi community by BJP, while Congress has given... so there is the fear of them shifting towards Congress," he said.

Senior BJP leader and former Minister K S Eshwarappa said he has been getting several calls stating that he should have been made the Chief Minister after Yediyurappa was removed and at least he should be made Deputy Chief Minister now. "It is for the high command to decide," he said.

Another senior leader and former Minister V Somanna said Basavaraj Bommai is close to him and has experience. "His father was also a CM...he will choose the right cabinet ministers."

With inputs from PTI


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