Bengaluru: With the much awaited cabinet expansion postponed to Friday afternoon in the wake of demise of Jnanpeeth laureate Dr Girish Karnad, ministerial aspirants are set to step up pressure on senior leaders, including Congress general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, K C Venugopal, likely to arrive in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
The Chief Minister's Office said in communiqué the new ministers would be sworn in at 1 PM on Friday while attributing postponement of the oath-taking ceremony, originally scheduled for 1130 AM on Wednesday, to passing away of Dr Karnad.
The two-day delay, however, would increase jostling for berths with the coalition partners contemplating induction of two independents, with JD (S) leaders likely to spring a surprise on the day of swearing-in ceremony with the name of another party legislator.
Though the name of Mr B M Farooq is the doing rounds as the party plans to include a minority face in the ministry, party president H D Deve Gowda and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy have held several rounds of discussions on the likely choice of the new face.
Meanwhile, sources in Congress said spiralling number of aspirants in Congress has been a cause for concern among leaders of alliance partners who fear that those who do not make it to the cabinet on Friday could prove constant source of trouble for the year-old coalition. Though Mr Venugopal is likely to arrive on Tuesday and chair meetings with state unit leaders and disgruntled legislators in an attempt to placate them, many former ministers have been demanding their induction into the cabinet on grounds that new comers have made it ahead of them.
Sources said one solution likely to be announced to prevent senior legislators from embarrassing the government would be an assurance of a rejig of the cabinet after some time when some ministers would be told to step down to make way for these heavyweights....