Home >Politics >News >Amit Shah approves Cabinet expansion in Karnataka

Bengaluru: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah on Saturday approved the expansion of Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa's Cabinet. The approval comes almost a month after Yediyurappa was sworn in as the chief minister of a state engulfed in one political crisis after another since May last year.

Yediyurappa met Shah in Delhi on Saturday. The expansion will take place in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

“BJP legislative party meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 20 at Vidhanasoudha conference Hall.The new Ministers will be sworn in the afternoon," according to a statement by the chief ministers office on Saturday.

Though the Cabinet expansion would help shield Yediyurappa’s government from being targeted by the Opposition, the party would have to tread carefully to accommodate all aspirations of its legislator and supporters or risk facing dissent from within its own ranks that would make it just as vulnerable as the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) coalition.

The BJP is expected to go in for a limited expansion, which would leave space to accommodate disgruntled elements and disqualified legislators, who have hinted at switching over to the BJP.

With 105 seats on its own, the BJP will have to manage the expectations of its own partymen as well as disqualified former legislators, who helped the saffron party take power in Karnataka. The H.D. Kumaraswamy-led coalition was forced to step down after at least 17 legislators from its ranks resigned, bringing down its slender majority in the 225-seater lower house.

The BJP will now have to focus its attention to win at least eight of the 17 bypolls to keep its majority when all vacancies are filled up in the legislature.

The Congress and JD(S), now operating individually, have spared no opportunity to target the new government and its handling of the rains and floods in the state.

“One part of the state has floods & the other part is witnessing severe drought. It has been 22 days since @BSYBJP took the oath but still there is no cabinet to take decisions in these times," Siddaramaiah, former Karnataka chief minister and senior Congress leader, wrote on Twitter.

Siddaramaiah, in a press conference on Saturday, attacked Yediyurappa for allegedly trying to divert funds from away from the erstwhile Congress government’s flagship Anna Bhagya (free rice) scheme. Yediyurappa has denied this charge and said that he has signed all papers for the release of grants for this scheme.

The opposition had also criticised the handling of the floods in the state, which has taken at least 66 human and 962 animal lives. At least 15 people are still missing as rains subside and flood waters recede in the state, in which almost 22 districts have been affected.

A total of 697,948 people have been evacuated so far. But the numbers residing in relief camps have been coming down as people have started to make their way back to their homes. The floods have left a trail of destruction in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala among other parts of the country. In Karnataka, a total of 6.9 lakh hectares of crop has been lost and around 74,685 houses have been damaged.

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