Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday evening left for New Delhi to discuss his cabinet expansion plans with the BJP high command on Monday.

Before leaving for the national capital on the 5.55 p.m. flight, Bommai told reporters that as he has received a call from central leaders, he was going there to discuss various issues, including his cabinet expansion, with them.

With his departure, speculations rife that the cabinet expansion is likely to take place in a day or two with at least 10 or 12 ministers, a source close to Bommai told IANS.

Basavaraj S. Bommai

Cabinet expansion in K'taka

Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister had stated that the cabinet expansion would take place in a day or two once the list gets a formal nod from the party's central leaders.

Bommai was sworn in as Chief Minister on July 28 after BJP veteran B.S. Yediyurappa resigned from the post on July 26, on completing two years in office.

At present, there is no other minister, even as the state is reeling under a spate floods in its north region, while the threat of a possible third wave of the Covid pandemic is looming large in the state.

Even as Bommai left for Delhi, ministerial aspirants are continuing lobbying to secure a berth in the new cabinet. While several legislators, including some former ministers, are shuttling between Delhi and Bengaluru to make it to the new cabinet, some have openly expressed their aspirations to become Ministers.

Basavaraj Bommai
Basavaraj BommaiIANS

Ramesh Jarkiholi, M.P. Renukacharya, Munirathna and several of 12 of the Congress-JD-S defectors who joined the BJP to topple the Congress-JD-S coalition government in July 2019 and became ministers, are lobbying hard to get into the cabinet.

Besides these leaders, several old-timers in the BJP are seeking to use their RSS connections to secure a berth for themselves.

Supporters of BJP leader and Haveri MLA Neharu Olekar had been staging protests and demanding that he should be given an opportunity in the new cabinet as it is the wish of party workers from the constituency.

Even though senior BJP leader and former Minister K.S. Eshwarappa has been constantly maintaining that he would listen to party central leaders' decisions, he has been constantly making statements on why he should be in the cabinet too.

Senior leaders V. Somanna, and Umesh Katti have been saying that Bommai is close to them, and expressed that he would not form his cabinet without them.

(With inputs from IANS)