Will discuss cabinet expansion with BJP central leadership: CM


PTI, Aug 3, 2019, 8:54 AM IST

Bengaluru: Amid criticism from the opposition over delay in cabinet formation, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Friday said he would discuss it with the central leadership during his Delhi visit next week.

“If there is even one person also, it is a government.. even if there are 25 people also, it is government. Our’s is a national party.

On August 6, 7 and 8, I’m going to Delhi. I will discuss with them (party high command), I will try to do the cabinet expansion at the earliest,” he told reporters here.

“I will try on my behalf…permission has to be given by Delhi, but routine developmental works and transfers are not facing problems. As a Chief Minister I’m doing it. I seek your (media) cooperation also,” he said.

Yediyurappas statement indicates that he would have to wait for the high command’s approval before going ahead with the expansion of his Ministry.

He assumed charge as Chief Minister on July 26 and proved majority on the floor of the assembly on July 29.

According to top sources in Karnataka BJP, the cabinet expansion may take five to six days, as it can happen only after Chief Minister getting approval from central leaders.

Only 10 to 12 members are likely to be inducted into the Ministry in the first round, they said.

The Opposition Congress and JD(S) have hit out at Yediyurappa about the delay in ministry formation, alleging that the government machinery has come to a standstill and developmental works have come to halt.

The Chief Minister, who held a marathon eight hour long meeting with top bureaucrats,including Regional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners of all districts and CEOs of various zilla panchayats, said day to day governance was not getting affected, despite absence of Ministers.

He instructed officials to take effective steps to avoid misuse of the “Anna Bhagya” scheme, providing seven kg of rice free of cost to every member of a BPL family every month, initiated by the previous Congress government.

Pointing out that 1.12 crore families are covered under the scheme, he said only those in need should get the benefits of this scheme, but there seemed to be large-scale misuse.

“According to my estimate in each district there are over a lakh of them who are misusing it illegally… so the misuse of it has to be stopped to benefit the poor.

Because we are purchasing rice at a market price and distributing, we are paying Rs 32-33 per kg,” he said, adding that officials would conduct a survey about the beneficiaries.

Yediyurappa directed the Chief Secretary to visit a district every month and review the work there.

Secretaries, made in charge of districts, were asked to visit districts twice, conduct reviews and file their reports to the Revenue and Chief Secretary.

Pointing at the drought situation in some parts of the state, he directed officials to accord priority to providing drinking water, fodder for livestock and jobs to the needy under MNREGA scheme.

Yediyurappa said that during his Delhi visit he will work for getting pending MNREGA funds released and discuss several stalled projects of the state with the central government.

Speaking about Prime Minister’s Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme, he said 31.72 lakh beneficiaries have been identified and are being provided Rs 6,000 in three installments by the central government, which comes to about Rs 634.50 crore.

After him assuming office, the state government decided to provide additional Rs 4,000 in two installments to these farmers under the scheme he said, adding that “within 10 days, the first installment of Rs 2,000 will be released to them.”

The total allocation of funds from Karnataka for implementing this scheme is Rs 2,200 crore.

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