Bengaluru: Expansion of the cabinet can wait, but not flood relief operations: This message was conveyed to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa by BJP president Amit Shah hours before their scheduled meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday evening, forcing the Lingayat strongman to rush to Belagavi for overseeing relief operations, soon after his arrival in Bengaluru, today.
Hinting that expansion of his cabinet could be delayed by about ten days, the Chief Minister told the media here: “Today, I was supposed to meet the President of India at 5 pm but Amit Shah directed me not to bother about the cabinet expansion, and visit some flood affected areas like Belagavi and four-five other districts.” He said he would return to Delhi next week once the floods recede and discuss the issue of expansion of his ministry with central leaders.
He said he would chair a review meeting on flood situation immediately on arrival in Belagavi on Wednesday. On Thursday, he plans to embark on an aerial survey of flood-hit districts of Belagavi and Bagalkot besides chairing review meetings with authorities concerned in both districts.
Meanwhile, sources in the party said Mr Yediyurappa landed in Delhi two days ago with a list of probable ministers and awaited a go-ahead from Mr Shah and other top leaders. He, however, could not meet Mr Shah following the demise of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and called off his meeting with President Ramanath Kovind before returning to Bengaluru.
Sources said central leaders took note of criticism by Opposition leaders about Mr Yediyurappa camping in Delhi at a time when most parts of the state were hit by floods and therefore decided to advise the Chief Minister to return the city and monitor the flood situation....