Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bomai arrived in the national capital on Friday and his surprise visit, the second in less than 10 days, has sparked speculation in the political arena, especially among the ruling BJP. After landing in Delhi, the Chief Minister went directly to meet a Union Minister, sources said. Although there was no mention of Bomaiya’s meeting with the BJP central leadership in his official visit program, some party sources said he would probably meet and discuss with them. While it has raised hopes among cabinet nominees for cabinet expansion, some believe it could discuss the upcoming elections to the Rajya Sabha, the Legislative Assembly and local bodies.
Also, rumors of a possible leadership change in the state have denied death in the wake of the recent events in Tripura, and the party has repeatedly made it clear that there is no question of Bomayi’s departure. The Chief Minister left Bangalore for the national capital this afternoon and his return to Bangalore has been kept “open”. According to media reports, he is expected to meet the Union Ministers
Bomai, who was in New Delhi on May 10 and 11, met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the second day and discussed the much-awaited expansion or reshuffle of his cabinet. After the meeting, he said the BJP central leadership would announce its decision on the matter after discussions and “anything could happen at any time.” The chief minister is under pressure from candidates to expand his cabinet ahead of next year’s assembly elections.
Some candidates have said that they do not think the practice will be effective at this time because they said that the term of the new recruits will be very short. Amid rumors in the BJP circles that cabinet reshuffles cannot be ruled out, ministerial candidates have said they are optimistic about a decision on cabinet expansion or reshuffle soon, and there are rumors that even a number of candidates could pave the way for a new one. There are currently five vacancies in the mouth cabinet, with 29 ministers, including the chief minister, against the 34-member sanctioned power. Some MLAs are talking of a Gujarat-style change in the Karnataka cabinet soon to pave the way for a new face.
Shah visited Bangalore earlier this month amid possible changes in leadership, and pressure to reshuffle or expand the cabinet. Karnataka’s national general secretary in-charge Arun Singh, former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and several top BJP leaders, including the state president. Nalin Kumar Katil denied any move to replace the bomber.
According to top BJP sources, Shah also asked Bomai to focus on development and election preparations and leave the rest to the party leadership. Bomai replaced veteran leader Yeddyurappa as chief minister in July last year. However, since Tripura Chief Minister Biplob Kumar Dev recently replaced Manik Saha, some party workers have suggested changes in the state and pointed to Bomaiya’s recent statement that “anything can happen at any time.” “Any such decision regarding leadership or cabinet practice, only the high command will know, there is no one here,” said a party official in the state.