The Siddaramaiah-led Karnataka cabinet could well be heading towards another major change, with the Chief Minister indicating that a cabinet expansion is on the cards.
Speaking to reporters in Mysuru on Thursday, CM Siddaramaiah said that he will take a call on inducting new ministers into the cabinet soon. According to The Hindu, the CM remarked that it would be immature to announce their names at this juncture and reserved further comment on the matter. There are reportedly three ministerial berths to be filled.
Excise Minister HY Meti was forced to step down in December last year following a controversial sleaze video. With this, the total number of ministers in the cabinet came down to 32.
The last time CM Siddaramaiah did a major reshuffle of his cabinet was in June 2016, when he sacked 14 sitting ministers and inducted 13 new ministers.
Following this, in September the same year, M. Krishnappa, a member of the legislative assembly from Vijayanagar in Bengaluru, was given a ministerial berth. He is currently the minister for Housing Department.
According to reports, Ministers Vinay R. Kulkarni and A. Manju were also promoted to cabinet rank during this time.
Addressing media persons on Thursday, the CM also spoke about the high command's decision of continuing with G Parameshwara as the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief. The All India Congress Committee (AICC) had asked Parameshwara, who is the present Home Minister of the state, to resign from his post immediately.
Although Parmeshwara had said that he would offer his resignation letter to the CM, Siddaramaiah told reporters that he hasn't received it yet.
"The High command has said - one man, one post. Parameshwara could resign, I don't know. But he has to give his resignation to me only, so I will talk to him," Siddaramaiah remarked.
On the high command declaring that Karnataka would go to polls under his leadership, Siddaramaiah said,
"The only people who make decisions are the legislature party and the high command. The high command has now decided that the election will be held under my leadership. And I will do it seriously."