Imprint of central cabinet expansion matrix expected in Karnataka ministry formation

Bengaluru, Aug 2: Following his second visit to Delhi for forming a new ministry in the state, the political pundits and BJP insiders are speculating that the central leadership may weigh the political prospects of the party in the poll-bound state.

Going by the recent cabinet expansion at the central level orchestrated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, political prospects of the party in poll-bound states and caste matrix, were weighed by these political masters.

For instance, four new ministers were inducted from Karnataka, taking the total representation from the state to six. The other two ministers from the state being Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Karnataka goes to poll in 2023 or less than 21 months from now. The party is determined to retain its dominance in the state by swearing in Shobha Karandlaje, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, A Narayanswamy and Bhagwant Khuba from the state.

Modi and Shah also had applied a similar matrix in other poll-bound states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Uttarakhand. They not only gave importance to the geographical factor, but also caste factor, when they picked ministers in the central cabinet.

They also ensured backward classes were adequately represented. The expansion saw 12 ministers from the Scheduled Caste community, including two with cabinet rank – Virendra Kumar and Pashu Pati Kumar Paras. There were 27 ministers representing various backward communities across the states.

So, the pundits are speculating that a similar matrix will be applied by Modi and Shah to ensure that caste balance is maintained after taking into consideration geographical factors when they sit to form the new ministry in Karnataka.

This criteria was quite evident when they sat to induct ministers from poll-bound states including Karnataka. Narayanaswamy is SC (Left), whereas Karandlaje and Khuba hail from Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities, respectively.

The political analysts are also of the view that the central leadership may consider the affiliation of the aspirants with the RSS. Except Chandrasekhar, all other inductees in the central cabinet have affiliations to the RSS.

The analysts also are speculating that the central leadership may induct low-key legislators in the Basavaraj Bommai ministry like they did by including Khuba and Narayanaswamy in the central ministry. The party may look to woo the SC (left) and backward class communities, as it did during the expansion of the central cabinet.

Bommai flew to Delhi Sunday night along with Joshi in the same flight. He is expected to meet the National Party president JP Nadda today. After reaching Delhi, he held discussions with Joshi and party’s National General Secretary (Organization) BL Santosh until late night.

Bommai is likely to return to Bengaluru in the evening after meeting Nadda with the list of ministers.

So, the political pundits are expecting some surprises for the people of Karnataka when the list of ministers are made public by Bommai.

Leave a Comment