According to Yediyurappa’s loyalists, the CM will meet BJP national president JP Nadda and Union home minister Amit Shah and seeking their permission for a state cabinet rejig. They added that Yediyurappa will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 7pm to discuss political issues and to formally invite him for the launch of the government’s Khelo India Youth Games to be held in Bengaluru.
Yediyurappa had last expanded his cabinet in January by inducting seven ministers. This time, he is planning to take up a similar exercise to mark completion of two years in office on July 26.
“He plans to drop some ministers, including those who have been criticising him in public, and accommodate new faces to put an end to dissidence once and for all,” said his loyalists.
“The reshuffle is needed since a handful of seniors are enjoying power for several years,” said Yelahanka MLA and the CM’s pa’s confidant SR Viswanath.
Currently, with the exit of H Nagesh and Ramesh Jarkiholi, there are two vacancies in the cabinet. The chief minister is learnt to have been keen on inducting RR Nagar MLA N Munirathna as he is obligated to reward him for his contribution towards installing the BJP government in 2019.
Munirathna is the only defector to be kept out of the cabinet apart from AH Vishwanath and Pratap Gowda Patil, who were defeated in the recent bypolls, while fourteen others were made ministers, party insiders said.
Munirathna was not inducted owing to a pending election petition in the Supreme Court and sources said Yediyurappa will make a special request to take him in.
However, some MLAs in the anti-Yediyurappa camp begged to differ, saying the CM has been summoned to discuss state leadership issue.
“We are all keenly waiting for the party high command’s decision,” said tourism minister and one of the dissidents, CP Yogeeshwara.
Karkala MLA V Sunil Kumar said the recent Union cabinet reshuffle has sent a clear message to non-performers in the party. “We will just wait and watch,” he said.