Karnataka CM Meets Amit Shah To Discuss State's Political Scenario

By Amogh Sahasrabhojanee

New Delhi:

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa Sunday met Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi to discuss the state's political scenario and finalise the BJP's candidates for the upcoming by-polls in the state as he arrived in the national capital on a day-long visit.

Before he left for Delhi earlier in the day, Mr Yediyurappa had hinted the much-awaited cabinet shuffle in the state might also come up for discussion during his meeting.

After landing in Delhi, the CM told reporters, "I am going to discuss the political situation in Karnataka."

"Recently, we won the gram panchayat elections in a very big way. Within a month, we are going to face two parliamentary and an assembly by-polls. We have to finalise the candidates. We will discuss all these issues with Amit Shah and other important leaders," he added.

The BJP leader said while his appointment with the home minister is confirmed, he will also try to meet JP Nadda, the party's national president.

Asked about the steps taken to check the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the chief minister said, "In Karnataka, the COVID-19 situation is under control. We are taking all precautions."

Earlier before leaving the Bangalore Airport, he hinted that the cabinet expansion may also come up for discussion during his meeting with the party high command.

"I don't know. I will discuss all the issues," he told reporters at the airport when asked if a cabinet rejig is likely this week.

The cabinet expansion in the state has been on the cards for over a year now, but it could not take place, giving some anxious moments to ministerial aspirants and also leading to dissatisfaction.

Among those in the ministerial race are MLAs Umesh Katti, Munirathna, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, M P Renukacharya, Aravind Limbavali and S R Vishwanath. Three MLCs -- C P Yogeshwar, MTB Nagaraj and R Shankar -- are too aspiring for a ministerial berth.

Another MLC, A H Vishwanath, too was in the race but his hopes dashed when the Karnataka High Court on November 30 barred him from becoming a minister until at least May this year.

The state can have a total of 34 ministers and it has 27 now.

By-polls are scheduled for Maski and Basavakalyan assembly segments, and Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency.

While Maski fell vacant due to the resignation of sitting Congress MLA Pratap Gouda Patil in 2019, the by-polls to Basavakalyan and Belagavi seats have been necessitated by the deaths of their representatives B Narayan Rao and Suresh Angadi, respectively, due to coronavirus.