Cabinet expansion after talks with high command: Siddaramaiah

Mangaluru: In what could be considered a bit of a disappointment for Congress legislators eyeing ministerial berths, former chief minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Sunday said the much awaited cabinet expansion will take place only after talks with the party high command. He did not reveal when the talks with the high command will happen, while chatting with mediapersons in Chikkamagaluru on Sunday. 

A couple of weeks back, KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre during his visit to Chikkamagaluru, had stated that cabinet expansion will take place between November 5 and 15.  There are more than half a dozen ministerial berths vacant in the coalition government and many legislators are aspiring for them including senior Congressmen such as former ministers M.B. Patil and Ramalinga Reddy among others. The JD(S) too has one berth to fill up besides the vacancy caused by the resignation of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA from Kollegal N. Mahesh as Minister for Primary and Secondary Education. 

Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah dismissed the charge that there was no coordination between alliance partners JD(S) and Congress saying that four wins were registered by JD(S) and Congress candidates in the recent bypolls. "We won by a big margin in Mandya and Ballari Lok Sabha seats and the Congress nominee won the Jamkhandi assembly bypoll too. In Shivamogga, former CM B.S. Yeddyurappa had won by a margin of 3.5 lakh votes in 2014while the victory margin of his son and BJP nominee B.Y. Raghavendra fell to 50,000 votes in the bypoll." 

Commenting on the statement of Mr Yeddyurappa who had asserted that he will again become CM, Siddaramaiah mocked at Yeddyurappa saying, “he is a day dreamer”  “How can he become the CM?", asked Siddaramaiah saying the BJP has 104 seats while 113 seats are required to form the government. 

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