Leaders from the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) in Bengaluru on Wednesday took oath as ministers in the first expansion of the Karnataka Cabinet under Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. A total of 25 ministers were inducted in the Karnataka Cabinet on Wednesday.
Janata Dal (Secular) MLA and Kumaraswamy’s brother HD Revanna was the first person to take oath. He took charge of the Public Works Department portfolio, reported The Hindu. Former minister Bandeppa Kashempur, Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs GT Deve Gowda, DC Thamanna, SR Srinivas, CS Puttaraju, SR Mahesh were also sworn in as Cabinet ministers. GT Deve Gowda had defeated former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from the Chamundeshwari constituency during the Assembly election held on May 12.
Congress leaders and former ministers in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet RV Deshpande, DK Shivakumar, KJ George, Priyank Kharge, Krishna Byregowda, UT Khader and Ramesh Jharkiholi also took oath as ministers. Former Deputy Speaker NH Shivashankar Reddy too was inducted into Kumaraswamy’s Cabinet. BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan, who quit the Janata Dal (Secular) in March and joined the Congress, sworn in along with Congress leaders Shivanand Patil, Venkataramanappa, Rajshekar Basavaraj Patil and C. Puttaranga Shetty. Congress’s Jaimala Ramachandra was the only woman MLA to be sworn in as a minister on Wednesday, reported The Hindu.
N Mahesh, the lone Bahujan Samaj Party MLA, took oath as a minister. The Bahujan Samaj Party had tied up with the Janata Dal (Secular) for the Assembly election. Mahesh became the first BSP leader to become a minister in a state government outside Uttar Pradesh.
“As they [BSP] were our pre-poll allies we decided that they should be included in our Cabinet,” said Janata Dal (Secular) National Secretary General Kunwar Danish Ali, according to the Hindustan Times.
R Shankar, who won the Ranibennur seat as an independent candidate, was also sworn in as a minister. Shankar had supported the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition after the results were announced.
Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress decided to split the 34 ministries in the ratio of 2:1. As a result, the Congress got 22 ministries and the Janata Dal (Secular) 12, including the chief minister’s post. For now, the Congress has picked 15 Cabinet ministers.
With intense lobbying by MLAs on both sides, the parties have decided to expand the Cabinet in two phases, said Ali.
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said that discussions about portfolios had begun, and these would be allocated within a couple of days, ANI reported. “Ours is a coalition government [but] we will fulfill all our promises. We will run this government for five years,” he told media persons.
DK Shivakumar brushed aside suggestions that some MLAs were disappointed. “Lots of portfolios and vacancies are being created,” he claimed. “All the seniors will be honoured at an appropriate time.”