Central leadership will decide on cabinet expansion, says Yediyurappa

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(Eds: Recasts intro, changes headline) Bengaluru, Jan 6 (PTI) Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday said the BJP central leadership will take a call on the much awaited cabinet expansion, amid renewed buzz about the excercise where new aspirants have thrown their hats into the ring.

The statement of the chief minister amid speculations that the cabinet expansion or reshuffle was likely this month, is seen as an indication of the process getting further delayed.

'Regarding cabinet expansion, central leaders (of BJP) will take a decision. Someone (aspirant) might have given a statement... why should I make a promise? Naturally whoever has to become (a minister) they will become,' Yediyurappa told reporters in response to a question about promising cabinet berths.

Some ministerial aspirants have thrown their hat into the ring, making no secret of their wish amid speculations that the cabinet process was likely this month though the political circles have been abuzz over the matter for quite some time.

BJP MLC R Shankar had on Tuesday met Yediyurappa and later claimed the expansion would happen in 2-3 days and that he will be made a Minister.

However, reacting to Shankar's claims, Chief Minister's political secretary and MLA M P Renukacharya had clarified that no discussion has taken place on the expansion or reshuffle yet, and the party national general secretary (Arun Singh) has instructed them to wait for the right time.

While Yediyurappa has said the high command will decide regarding the cabinet exercise, BJP national General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka Arun Singh after attending party meetings in Shivamogga on Sunday had maintained that the expansion of the state cabinet was likely soon and it was the chief minister's prerogative.

Yediyurappa has been waiting for some time now to carry out the cabinet exercise, as he was asked by BJP president J P Nadda during their meeting in New Delhi on November 18, to wait for the clearance from the central leadership.

The cabinet expansion or reshuffle is expected to be a tightrope walk for the Chief Minister, considering that there are too many aspirants, from the party old guard to Congress- JD(S) rebels who are now BJP legislators.

The cabinet currently has 27 members, and seven berths are still vacant. PTI KSU SA ROH ROH