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On campaign trail, Yediyurappa announces Ministry for Munirathna

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa campaigned for BJP candidate Munirathna in the bypoll-bound R.R. Nagar constituency on Saturday and said, “It is certain that Munirathna will win this election by a large margin and become a Minister.”

Singing praises of Mr. Munirathna, he said that even before the bypolls were announced, Mr. Munirathna had been working for the development of the constituency.

Mr. Yediyurappa went on to assure voters that he would give all support for development works in the constituency. “And as Minister, Munirathna will get them executed,” he said. This comes a day after he assured the voters of Sira, the other bypoll-bound constituency, that he would order the filling up of Madalur tank from Hemavathi river.

Promises galore

“In the last year alone, I have sanctioned development projects worth ₹820 crore for R.R. Nagar constituency,” he said, giving a breakup of the funds allotted for roads, underpasses, and drains. Also holding the charge of Bengaluru Development, he said he had taken a personal interest in the development of the city. “In the next one month, I will myself start doing city rounds to speed up the development works,” he said.

Taking a dig at the Congress and the JD(S), which he accused of playing “caste politics” — an alleged attempt to consolidate Vokkaliga votes against the BJP in R.R. Nagar — he said, “Our government has several Vokkaliga Ministers. We have ensured social justice and ours is a government of all castes. We do not depend on one caste like the Opposition parties.”

Another trip to Delhi

Meanwhile, Mr. Yediyurappa also said he would make a trip to Delhi after the bypolls to consult the party’s central leadership on the matter of Cabinet expansion. “I want to expand the Cabinet soon after the elections,” he said. When asked whether it would be an expansion or a reshuffle, he said that would depend on the directions of the high command. He said he could not elaborate on the matter now, partly because of the model code of conduct being in force.

A Cabinet expansion/reshuffle has been a long-pending exercise in the State. Though the Chief Minister has been keen, the party high command has not given him the green signal for it yet. On his last trip to Delhi, on September 19, when he met the Prime Minister as well, he failed to secure clearance for the exercise from the central leadership, triggering speculation of a leadership change in State BJP.

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