After nearly a month of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) BS Yediyurappa swearing-in as the chief minister of Karnataka, the state government has finally set Tuesday, August 20 as the date for cabinet expansion.
The decision was taken last evening by the Chief Minister’s Office and later approved by BJP President Amit Shah after the Chief Minister’s meeting with the party chief in Delhi. The ‘limited’ expansion, which is likely to leave some room for the disgruntled legislators, will take place in Bengaluru.
The delay in taking a decision regarding the cabinet formation was criticised by the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) who were running the Karnataka government until they lost trust vote last month.
Yediyurappa received slack by the Congress who took Twitter to say, “Is this what BJP means by ‘Minimum Government’? A cabinet without cabinet ministers? Will @BSYBJPwake up & stop our state being mocked across the country?” “Karnataka needs a government. If @BSYBJP can’t form one, he should step down,” the tweet read.
Despite the three-week delay, however, not all positions are expected to be filled at once. A few of the disqualified ‘rebel MLAs’ who appealed to the Supreme Court may be rewarded seats if they emerge victorious in court.
Earlier this month JDS leader and former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy confidently asked his party workers to be prepared for re-elections as the Yediyurappa government would fall soon. “Be prepared for elections very soon, may happen on the 17 seats (constituencies of disqualified MLAs) or elections may even happen on all 224 constituencies. I am sure that this (Karnataka Govt) will not stay for long,” he had said.
After a prolonged political crisis in the state since May last year, and a full-blown drama with the resignations of the Congress-JDS MLAs, the Yediyurappa-led BJP government came into power defeating the 14-month old Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in the trust vote on the floor of the state Assembly.