Cabinet expansion: CM to visit Delhi on Feb. 7
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Cabinet expansion: CM to visit Delhi on Feb. 7

February 3, 2022

Scheduled to discuss Karnataka’s stand on Cauvery-Pennar river-linking project

Bengaluru: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said he has postponed his scheduled trip to New Delhi for Feb. 7, on the request of Members of Parliament (MPs) from the State. The CM had earlier planned to leave for Delhi today (Feb. 3).

Bommai plans to meet party top brass to raise objections on the Cauvery-Pennar river-linking project announced in the Union Budget. He and some water experts have expressed apprehension that the project will help Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh but not Karnataka since the State may not get its due share of water under the plan.

Sources say Bommai had sought appointments with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Party President J.P. Nadda to explain Karnataka’s stand regarding the project, but there was no confirmation.

The New Delhi visit is a part of a tradition in which Chief Ministers from Karnataka meet MPs from the State ahead of the presentation of the State Budget. The first Budget under Bommai’s leadership is scheduled to be presented in March.

Apart from the Budget, Bommai’s visit to New Delhi is likely to revolve around discussions on Cabinet revamp that BJP legislators are expecting to take place. Several BJP legislators have been jockeying for Cabinet positions in recent days. “I will not discuss this issue in public,” Bommai said when asked if there would be discussions regarding a Cabinet expansion during his visit to New Delhi.

Some BJP MLAs like former Union Minister BasanagoudaPatilYatnal and M.P. Renukacharya have claimed that the BJP is likely to carry out a Gujarat-style revamp of the Karnataka Cabinet by bringing in a completely new set of Ministers for the final year of its tenure, which is scheduled to end in mid-2023.

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They have openly said that if the Cabinet exercise is delayed and carried out after the election in five States, it will be too late for new Ministers to make any mark, even in their own Constituencies.

Yesterday, Bommai also held a consultation with retired IAS Officer M.R. Srinivasa Murthy, who is heading the panel to study the financial self-reliance and resource mobilisation of State’s Road Transport Undertakings.

The Chief Minister later held a departmental review of the Public Works Department in which Public Works Minister C.C. Patil, Public Works Department Additional Chief Secretary B.H. Anil Kumar, Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary Manjunath Prasad and other senior officers attended the meeting.

He also held a meeting with Karnataka Forest Development Corporation Chairperson Tara Anuradha, Forest Minister UmeshKatti, Chief Secretary P. Ravi Kumar and other Forest Department officials.

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