BANGALORE: Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and state BJP president K S Eshwarappa on Monday returned empty handed from Delhi with the party high command showing a red signal for Cabinet expansion till former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa’s fate is decided by the Supreme Court in the illegal mining case.
According to sources, BJP national president Nitin Gadkari told Gowda not to hurry into expanding the Cabinet and asked him to wait for the Supreme Court’s order on holding a CBI probe into the role of Yeddyurappa and his family in the illegal mining case.
The matter is likely to come up for hearing on April 20 in the Supreme Court.
Gowda, who was in New Delhi to attend the Chief Ministers’ internal security meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, met Gadkari earlier in the morning for about 40 minutes and sought the party’s permission to expand his Cabinet.
During the meeting, Gowda reportedly explained to Gadkari the necessity for Cabinet expansion to tackle the severe drought situation prevailing in most parts of the state.
Gadkari, however, turned down the Chief Minister’s request stating that such an exercise would further aggravate the problems in the state unit of the party and told the Chief Minister that he would discuss it at length later.
There are 11 vacancies in Gowda’s Cabinet and he himself is managing about 19 portfolios, including the plum-ones like, revenue and health.
Gowda is struggling to manage the show with so many vacancies, especially when two-thirds of the state is reeling under severe drought. He had openly brought this up with the party top brass on several occasions in the past.
The Chief Minister told reporters after the meeting that he apprised the party president about the developments in the state BJP and also sought permission for Cabinet expansion.
When asked if his request was considered, Sadananda Gowda said, “I could not hold lengthy discussions as Gadkari was in a hurry to rush to the airport to catch a flight to Nagpur. But I am confident that the party leaders would take a suitable decision.”
Meanwhile, Eshwarappa also had to return to Bangalore as he could not meet any leaders in Delhi.