State

JP Nadda’s visit sparks Karnataka Cabinet reshuffle talks- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: With the BJP national president JP Nadda all set to attend the party’s state executive committee meeting underway at Hospet in Vijayanagara district on Sunday, talks about Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai Cabinet expansion is again gaining traction.

Bommai, who had called on Nadda in New Delhi on April 6, and claimed to have ‘briefly’ discussed Cabinet rejig on Friday hinted about discussing the same on the sidelines of the executive meeting. In view of KS Eshwarappa’s exit from the Cabinet over corruption charges and an FIR filed against him in contractor Santosh Patil’s suicide case, the party high command has been thinking about a Cabinet reshuffle to induct fresh faces, sources told TNSE.

“If BL Santhosh had not intervened in the state’s affairs, the government would have faced still more difficulties with some of the ministers, especially the seniors overlooking Bommai on several issues. Now they will have to pave the way for the young leaders with a clean image,” a RSS leader close to Santhosh remarked.

The high command fears that the opposition Congress will be exposing more ministers in corruption cases by using the contractors’ association, it is said. To avoid more embarrassment to the party ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls, the BJP national leadership including Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are thinking of options, sources said.

“Change in leadership is unlikely. Removing Bommai would have a boomerang effect as he had the backing of former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. Including Yediyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra into the Cabinet has also been discussed,” they added.

For the party’s leadership, the names of Shobha Karandlaje, C T Ravi, Dr C N Ashwath Narayana, Jagadish Shettar have been making the rounds in the BJP circle for some time. Soon after the state executive committee meeting concludes on Sunday the developments to bring a change in the government and also the party are likely to take shape.

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