Bengaluru: Karnataka's wait is finally over with fifteen BJP MLAs and Independent legislator from Mulbagal, H. Nagesh, set to take oath as ministers of the B.S. Yediyurappa cabinet, Tuesday morning at Raj Bhavan.
"The cabinet expansion will take place between 10:30 am and 11:30 am on Tuesday. I have already written a letter to the Governor in this regard. I have asked the Chief Secretary to make all arrangements," Chief Minister Yediyurappa said on Monday.
Though the BJP veteran took over as CM 25 days ago on July 26, cabinet formation was delayed because of a host of factors including the unprecedented floods and landslides in the state. The BJP central leadership had then taken the stance that cabinet formation could wait and had asked the CM to rush to the aid of the flood affected.
The list of ministers was not announced till Monday night but sources in the BJP confided that many senior MLAs and die-hard supporters of Mr Yediyurappa are unlikely to find place in the cabinet. Those who may not make it include Murugesh Nirani, M.P. Renukacharya, Aravind Limbavali, Basangouda Patil Yatnal, C.M. Udasi, K.G. Bopaiah and Haratalu Halappa.
This obviously means that Yediyurappa could not have his way while finalising the list of ministers with sources saying the party top brass did not give him the freedom to select the team he wanted. However, sources close to the CM maintained that party national president Amit Shah had approved the majority of names suggested by Yediyurappa.
Sources also said that there could be a few surprises in the list which was finalised after hectic consultations between the CM, Mr Shah and party national organising secretary B.L. Santhosh at Delhi. They include Kundapura MLA, Haladi Srinivasa Shetty, Sulia MLA, S. Angara and Kuduchi MLA, P. Rajeev.
Interestingly, most senior BJP leaders including former CM Jagadish Shettar, and former Deputy CMs K.S. Eshwarappa and R. Ashok are not sure if they will be inducted though sources said all three will be part of the cabinet. The others likely to be inducted include Govind Karjol, J.C. Madhuswamy, Umesh Katti, Basavaraj Bommai, Prabhu Chawan, Shashikala Jolle, Dr. Ashwathnarayana, Suresh Kumar, Kota Srinivasa Poojari and V. Somanna.
The CM can have a 33 strong cabinet, but he is not likely to fill all the vacancies in a hurry as the disqualified rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs, who played a pivotal role in bringing down the previous coalition government, will have to be accommodated. These rebels are now waiting for the Supreme Court decision on their plea challenging their disqualification from the Assembly by then Speaker Ramesh Kumar.
Sources said the list may be released late night on Monday or Tuesday morning before the swearing-in ceremony. Unsure if they will be inducted, most of the cabinet hopefuls were reluctant to bring their family members to Bengaluru for the ceremony.
Even Mr Yediyurappa is a bit tense with the BJP central leadership yet to release the list of ministers. Earlier, the BJP top brass had informed the CM that the list would be sent to Bengaluru on Monday.