The BJP top leadership is considering changing Karnataka’s Chief Minister once again in order to bring in a more dynamic face before the state elections next year.
According to sources, the party’s central leadership is not happy with the performance of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. Since the party is busy with elections in five states, the decision in this regard could be taken once the polls conclude.
Sources said that the BJP high command is unhappy with the defeat in the by-elections and local body polls, including in Basavaraj Bommai’s own constituency Hanagal. This has left the top leadership worried about the 2023 Assembly polls. Further, the resentment of several state Ministers and MLAs against the Chief Minister intensified the cloud of worries.
The BJP high command may select a young face ahead of the Assembly polls next year. The new face can be from the politically-influential Panchamasaali Lingayat community. The party may also go for a Dalit face for the top post.
On the other hand, there have been talks of Cabinet restructuring where senior Ministers like KS Eshwarappa, Murugesh Nirani, CC Patil, and Prabhu Chauhan are likely to be dropped. Also, four berths in the state Cabinet are vacant and 40 MLAs are lobbying for that. There are also reports that several MLAs, especially those who migrated from the JDS and Congress, are in touch with the parties.
Top BJP sources said the high command may change the Chief Minister first and then restructure the Cabinet in order to strengthen the state unit.