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Why Ministry expansion is getting delayed

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, DEC. 10. The reason for the inordinate delay in the coalition Ministry expansion has now become clear, and sources here told The Hindu that the delay was largely because of the State Government delaying the clearance for the international airport project.

The Janata Dal (Secular) has been against the State Government's support of Rs. 350 crores to the proposed international airport at Devanahalli. According to sources, the Minister for Industries and Civil Aviation, P.G.R. Sindhia, had kept the matter "on hold" since in the opinion of the Janata Dal (S) the State need not extend financial support to the project. It was that aspect which has had a direct bearing on the expansion of the Ministry. Obviously, the delay had nothing to do with the inclusion or exclusion of some legislators.

It is stated that some key Congress leaders had sounded the coalition Government about clearing the project. Two international companies that are connected with the project have threatened to pull out if the Government does not give clearance this month.

A meeting of the Cabinet has been summoned on Saturday. The Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, who was scheduled to return from New Delhi on Friday, has stayed back owing to certain developments.

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