Monday, Oct 03, 2022

Karnataka CM Postpones New Delhi Trip To Feb 7

The Chief Minister had earlier planned to leave for Delhi tomorrow morning.

Karnataka Chief Minister Bommai PTI Photo

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said he has postponed his scheduled trip to New Delhi for February 7, on the request of Members of Parliament from the state.

"I had planned to go to Delhi tomorrow, for a meeting with Members of Parliament from the state there, but on the request of all our MPs I will go to Delhi on Monday," Bommai told reporters here.

Earlier in the day, he had said that he is likely to travel to Delhi tomorrow morning for a meeting with MPs from the state during the ongoing Parliament's budget session, and for a meeting with lawyers representing Karnataka regarding inter state water disputes.

Responding to a question on possible discussion with the BJP high command regarding expansion or reshuffle of his cabinet, during the Delhi visit, he said, "I don't want to have any open discussion on this matter."

There is pressure mounting on the CM to expand or rejig his cabinet soon, amid talks in party circles that the exercise is likely, only after the Assembly elections in five states.

Citing assembly polls in the state in 2023, several legislators including Basanagouda Patil Yatnal and M P Renukacharya have openly said that if cabinet exercise is delayed and carried out after election in five states, it will be too late for new ministers to make any mark, even in their own constituencies.

Recently some legislators have even been advocating Gujarat-like overhaul of the Karnataka Cabinet soon, to make way for new faces. In September, the BJP completely overhauled the Gujarat's Council of Ministers by selecting new faces for the Bhupendra Patel government, with no Minister from the previous Vijay Rupani-led Ministry being inducted.

Bommai had repeatedly stated that he is waiting for the BJP leadership's consent on going ahead with the cabinet exercise. There are currently 30 Ministers in the State Cabinet, including the Chief Minister, against the sanctioned strength of 34.

Noting that the union budget presented on Tuesday has separate documents that will have department and state wise allocation details, among others, the CM, in response to a query, said a detailed study will give a clear picture on allocations for old and new schemes, and about grant in aid for the state from the Centre and regarding loans.

"Based on all this we will decide on our (state) budget....after February 7, I will have pre budget consultative meetings with various departments. After gathering their opinion I will take budget related decisions," he said.

Bommai, who also holds the finance portfolio, is likely to present the state budget, his first, in the first week of March. 

With inputs from PTI.