With a cabinet expansion on the anvil, some BJP MLAs made a beeline to Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa's residence lobbying for a ministerial berth on Thursday. Though the MLAs maintained that they were not in the race, they said they were capable enough to take up the responsibility. Soon after winning 12 of 15 seats in the recent bypolls that helped the ruling BJP secure majority in the Assembly, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said cabinet expansion will be taken up and those disqualified MLAs, who made it to the assembly in the bypolls, will get preference.
As the Chief Minister is likely to visit Delhi next week to discuss the cabinet expansion and allocation of portfolios,Vijayanagar MLA Anand Singh, Hukkeri MLA Umesh Katti and Yellapur MLA Shivaram Hebbar called on him at his residence.
According to party sources, they pitched for a cabinet berth and discussed their choice of portfolio. Speaking to reporters after meeting Yediyurappa, Hebbar said he has been assured that he would be given a cabinet berth.
"It has been left to the Chief Minister's discretion to decide who should be made minister and which portfolio to be allotted," Hebbar said. There were speculations that Katti was aspiring for the post of deputy chief minister.
When asked about this, Katti said, in a lighter vein, "I want to be either chief minister or a minister.I don't aspire for the post of deputy chief minister. It all depends on high command's decision," Katti said.
"Being an eight-time MLA, I aspire for the post of Chief Minister. Earlier also I aspired for the post and continue to do so in future as well," he quipped.
Bijapur MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal too said he was ready to take up any responsibility given to him by the party leadership though he made it clear that he is not an aspirant for the cabinet berth. According to party sources, cabinet rejig may be carried out besides cabinet expansion.
Amid reports that the BJP high command is mulling over doing away with the post of deputy chief ministers, deputy chief minister Govind Karjol said he always stood by the party leadership's decision.
"I will adhere to whatever decision the party leadership takes," Karjol told reporters at Kalaburagi.