Cabinet rumbles: Swearing & swearing in

Of the 27 ministers who were sworn in, ten are Vokkaligas.

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday expanded his 15-day-old Cabinet, inducting 25 new ministers after intense bargaining for ministerial berths, in a much-awaited exercise that caused heartburn among several lawmakers in the JDS-Congress coalition.

There were protests by supporters of aspirants for ministerial positions in several parts of the state and just outside Raj Bhavan between policemen and supporters of Congress's H K Patil at Chalukya Circle. There was also a late night conclave by two Congress leaders, Satish Jarkiholi and M.B.Patil who met with their supporters and other seniors, who had been denied cabinet berths.

A minister in the Siddaramaiah government Congress MLA B C Patil said: "I stood with the Congress like a solid rock, refusing the blandishments offered by the BJP. But this is the gift I have received in return....injustice has been done to me." M B Patil, a prominent face in the Siddaramaiah government who was at the forefront of the move for religious minority status for Lingayats, was also sullen. "I didn't use pressure tactics or blackmail," he said, adding he would meet the state party leaders and ask them why he was left out.

Those inducted into the coalition government included 14 lawmakers from the Congress, nine of Kumaraswamy's JD(S), and one each of the BSP and Karnataka Pragnavanta Janata Paksha. The BSP is a pre-poll ally of the JDS, while the newly formed KPJP MLA has extended support to the coalition.

Governor Vajubhai administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers, all of whom are of the Cabinet rank, at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan. Several key members of the previous Siddaramaiah ministry, including M B Patil, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Ramalinga Reddy, R Roshan Baig, H K Patil, Shyamnur Shivashankarappa, Tanvir Sait and Satish Jarkhiholi, were dropped. After Wednesday's expansion there are six vacant ministerial positions left for the Congress and one for the JD(S.)

Those inducted into the Cabinet include Kumaraswamy's elder brother H D Revanna, and G T Deve Gowda of the JD(S), who emerged as a giant killer when he defeated chief minister Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari. The lone BSP MLA Mahesh got a Cabinet berth and so did R Shankar of KPJP.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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