In a setback of sorts for BJP MLAs aspiring for a ministerial berth in the Karnataka Cabinet, they will now have to wait till January 2021 for their elevation.

The announcement of the election to over 5,500 gram panchayats across the state next month has poured cold water over any hopes of Cabinet reshuffle with the model code of conduct coming into immediate effect. 

The announcement comes as a breather for Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa who was literally walking a tightrope over the Cabinet reshuffle.

With the Gram Panchayat polls being annnounced, the chief minister can cite the poll conduct as an excuse to put off the Cabinet expansion or reshuffle at least till next year.

The news comes as breather for the BJP high command, which is currently firefighting over farmers' agitation against the farm laws. They can now take time to vet the list of aspirants before giving the green light for the Cabinet expansion. 

Sources said that Yediyurappa was not keen on antagonizing the 17 former Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs who were instrumental in bringing the BJP back into ower in the state. Though, a few had been inducted into the Cabinet,  others like MTB Nagaraj, A H Vishwanath and R Shankar are waiting to enter the Cabinet as promised by Yediyurappa.  

Sources say that MLA don't really have much to bargain over. They have no option except to wait as they too were in a piquant position considering that they cannot resign and go back to their respective parties. 

If everything goes well, the much-publicized Cabinet expansion or reshuffle may happen only after Sankranthi which falls on January 14 or 15, 2021.