Bengaluru: Wednesday’s cabinet expansion saw the Janata Dal (S) spring a few surprises even if it did the expected and induct six Vokkaliga ministers from among its 26 MLAs from the community that is its backbone. In addition, two Lingayats and one Kuruba have been made ministers. The other cabinet berth has gone to its coalition partner, BSP , in the Dalit quota.
But surprisingly, senior leader, A H Vishwanath, who had quit the Congress to join the party in the weeks leading to the assembly poll, and newly elected Legislative Council member , B M Farooq don’t find a place in the Council of Ministers.
Sources say Mr Vishwanath himself had asked JD(S) supremo, H D Deve Gowda not to bother too much about accommodating him in the cabinet and was offered the Speaker’s post instead. But when it went to the Congress, Mr Gowda is said to have offered to appoint him Deputy Speaker. Mr Vishwanath, however, reportedly refused politely saying that having been a former Minister, the post was too junior for him.
As for Mr Farooq although he has stood by the party in its most difficult times, it found it difficult to accommodate him in the cabinet even under the minority quota as if he had been inducted, other senior members of the Council like Basavaraj Horatti, Marithibbe Gowda and Srikante Gowda, too would have staked a claim to a berth, say party insiders.
Mr Vishwanath and Mr Farooq’s place has been taken by Mr A T Ramaswamy, who has been made Deputy Speaker and Mr Sa Ra Mahesh, a close associate of Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, who has been inducted into the cabinet. Going by sources, although his inclusion was cleared by Mr Deve Gowda a week ago, it was kept secret as he is not in the good books of Mr Kumaraswamy’s sister-in-law , Bhavani Revanna, who was caught on video advising her supporters to defeat him in the assembly poll....