Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy expanded his Cabinet on Saturday, including eight members from coalition partner Congress. Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office to them at the Raj Bhavan on Saturday evening.
Two ministers – Municipal Administration Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and Forests Minister R Shankar – were removed from the Cabinet, NDTV reported.
Congress leaders Satish Jarkhiholi, Rahim Khan, Shivalli, MTB Nagaraj, Tukaram, MB Patil, Parmeshwar Nayak and RB Thimmapur are the new inductees. Congress President Rahul Gandhi had reportedly approved of the appointees on Friday night.
The supporters of Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy, however, staged a protest near the Raj Bhavan to demand his inclusion in the Cabinet.
The Congress decided to replace Ramesh Jarkhiholi with his brother Satish Jarkhiholi after the former was reportedly fraternising with Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and avoiding party and Cabinet meetings. Independent legislator Shankar was purportedly removed because of his hesitance at being a Congress associate member, PTI reported.
On December 5, Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced the date for the second Cabinet expansion.
The development comes amid reports of a growing sense of rebellion in the Congress, many of whose leaders are miffed about being denied ministerial berths. Siddaramaiah had refuted the rumours of a possible split and said the coalition government would complete its five-year term.
The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) had tied up to form the state government in May. The parties had 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. According to their agreement, Congress leaders will get to head 20 boards and corporations while 10 boards and corporations will go to the JD(S).