Amid signals of disgruntlement among a section of the ruling BJP in Karnataka, about the delay in expansion or reshuffle of the cabinet, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai who will be on an official visit to Delhi on April 30, Thursday said he has not thought about meeting the party high command for now. With polls scheduled next year, there is pressure mounting on the CM to expand or rejig his cabinet soon, after the recent Assembly elections in five states.
"I'm going to Delhi tomorrow night, on April 30 there is a conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of all states, I will attend that and come back," Bommai told reporters here. Asked if he will be meeting BJP high command leaders during the visit, he said, "As of now I have not sought anyone's time, haven't thought about it, let's see later."
With the cabinet exercise taking time, voices of discontent seem to be brewing within the ruling BJP, as party MLA M P Renukacharya on Wednesday had openly expressed displeasure about the delay and working of few ministers. The MLA, who is also the Chief Minister's political secretary, said several party legislators are of a similar opinion, and they feel that if new faces are inducted into the cabinet, they would work aggressively and bring good name to the BJP and the government ahead of the 2023 assembly polls.
Bommai has been maintaining that he is awaiting for a direction from BJP central leadership to carry out the cabinet exercise. There are currently 29 ministers in the state cabinet, including the Chief Minister, as against the sanctioned strength of 34.
Some legislators have even been advocating a Gujarat-like overhaul of the Karnataka Cabinet soon, to make way for new faces, ahead of the assembly elections. The cabinet exercise will be crucial ahead of the assembly elections, in which the saffron party aims to return to power once again, and has set a target of winning a minimum of 150 seats in the 225-member House.
Responding to a question on transfer of Additional Director General of Police, Recruitment, Amrit Paul, that is said to have been done in the wake of alleged scam in the exam that was held last year to recruit 545 police sub-inspectors, Bommai said, it is a routine administrative measure."Congress will comment on anything we do, if someone continues in the post they will ask why continued, if removed they will ask why removed. Can't answer everything. It is just an administrative measure. Some ADGPs had to be transferred as their time in the post was over," he said.