General overhaul in K’taka Govt likely for image makeover

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A “broad change” in the BJP-led government of Karnataka could be on the horizon ahead of next year’s general election. Prime Minister Basavraj Bommai, who is planning a cabinet reshuffle, could get the green light from Interior Minister Amit Shah, who is due to visit Bengaluru on Tuesday.

The BJP is dealing with a series of controversies plaguing the state government, including charges of demanding bribes and allegations of mitigating the suicide of a contractor by State Minister KS Eshwarappa, who has resigned after massive outrage.

Speculation about the leadership change was sparked by BJP Secretary-General (org) BL Santosh, who claimed the party leadership had the courage and strength to push through sweeping changes in governance, citing local polls in Delhi and Gujarat.

“I’m not saying this will happen everywhere, but the BJP is capable of making decisions that other political parties can’t even imagine. Because of the trust and will in the party, these decisions are possible, and in Gujarat, with the change of Chief Minister, the entire cabinet has changed as well. This was done with intent to add freshness and not because of any complaints,” Santosh was quoted as saying last weekend.

Bommai has not responded to Santosh’s comment, but former Prime Minister BS Yediyurappa has dismissed such speculation, saying Bommai had done a “good job”. Shah will meet Bommai and Yediyurappa, among others, and assess preparations for the elections.

Shah will attend several events including the farewell ceremony of the university plays “Khelo India” and also pay tribute to the 12th century social reformer and Lingayat saint Basavanna on the occasion of Basava Jayanthi.

He will also attend the inauguration and groundbreaking ceremony of various projects including Nrupathunga University, E-Inauguration of Forensic Science Laboratory in Bellari and inauguration of Bengaluru NATGRID Campus, among others.

After his visit to Karnataka, Shah will begin his three-day visit to West Bengal on May 4th.

Like his predecessor Yediurappa, Bommai is under a lot of pressure from the “aspirants” to reshuffle and introduce new faces in the run-up to the parliamentary elections.

It is said that a political upheaval on the Gujarat line, where the central BJP had even installed a new prime minister, ahead of the general election in Karnataka cannot be ruled out.

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