Bengaluru | Jagran Politics Desk: Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived in Karnataka late Monday night amid buzz over a possible leadership change in the state ahead of the 2023 assembly elections. Shah, who arrived at Bengaluru's HAL airport, was received by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and several of his cabinet colleagues.

Shah will be taking part in various events, including valedictory function of 'Khelo India' University Games. He is also expected to hold separate meetings with Bommai and veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader BS Yediyurappa as the saffron party prepares for 2023 polls.

"He (Shah) is coming, I will be meeting him. He will try to know about the political situation in the state. As state elections are ahead, Prime Minister and Amit Shah have decided to give priority to Karnataka. He is likely to give suggestions on reaching the 150 seats target that we have set for the next assembly polls," Yediyurappa was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

However, there is no mention about Shah's meeting with party leaders in Karnataka as per to his schedule that is available. However, Bommai, who is under pressure to expand or rejig his cabinet ahead of the assembly polls, has already indicated that he would try to discuss it with Shah during this visit.

Several party MLAs, including Bommai's political secretary MP Renukacharya, have openly called for a cabinet expansion. The MLAs have also called for Gujarat-like overhaul of the cabinet to give an opportunity to young leaders.

Currently, Karnataka has 29 ministers, including the Chief Minister. It has a sanctioned strength of 34.

MLAs demand have created a pressure on Bommai, who is already dealing with the buzz of a leadership change in Karnataka. BJP national general secretary BL Santhosh's Sunday's statement that the party's strength lies in the induction of new faces has also sparked a buzz in the state.

However, a senior BJP functionary, quoted by PTI, said the party will unlikely replace Bommai, who was made the Chief Minister in July last year. On Monday, Yediyurappa had also dismissed talks about a leadership change, saying Bommai was doing a "good job."

"The current Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is doing a good job, so there will be no leadership change according to me," PTI quoted Yediyurappa as saying.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma