KUMARASWAMY MINISTRY EXPANDED, 25 MINISTERS TAKE OATH

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JD (S) LION IN KARNATAKA, G T Deve Gowda Waving to supporters at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru.

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KUMARASWAMY MINISTRY EXPANDED, 25 MINISTERS TAKE OATH

HIGHLIGHTS
• Governor Vajubhai Vala today administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan
• Fourteen ministers are from the Congress, while nine are from JD(S) and one each from the BSP and the KPJP
• The new ministers took oath after days of hectic parleying between the ruling coalition partners, the JD(S) and the Congress

Bengaluru : The 15-day-old H D Kumaraswamy ministry in Karnataka was expanded today with the induction of 25 ministers.

Of the ministers who were inducted, 14 are from the Congress, while nine are from its ruling coalition partner JD(S) and one each from the BSP and the KPJP.

Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan.

HD Revanna, son of the former prime minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowdaand state senior Congress leaders DK Shivakumar were among those who took the oath. JD (S)’ G T Deve Gowda, who had emerged as a giant killer defeating former chief minister Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru in the assembly polls was also inducted. Congress MLC Jayamala was the lone woman minister.

As per the power-sharing arrangement, Congress will have 22 ministers and the JD(S) 12. With today’s expansion, the strength of the ministry has gone up to 27, leaving seven more vacancies to be filled.

The new ministers took oath after days of hectic parleying between the ruling coalition partners, the JD(S) and the Congress. The two rival parties had stitched up a post-poll alliance at the state level after the May 12 assembly polls yielded a fractured mandate, in order to keep the single largest party, the BJP, out of power in the state.

Earlier on May 23, JD(S) stalwart H D Kumaraswamy took oath as chief minister while Congress state president G Parameshwara was sworn in as his deputy.

The ministry expansion exercise has been a complicated affair for both Congress and JD(S), with heated discussions on the allocation of portfolios between them. Congress had conceded the plum Finance and Power portfolio to its junior partner, resolving a thorny issue.

From Congress, R V Deshpande, D K Shivakumar, K J George, Krishna Byregowda, Shivashankar Reddy, Ramesh Jarkhiholi, Priyank Kharge, U T Khader, B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, PuttarangaShetty, Jayamala, R Shankar, Shivananda Patil, Venkataramanappa and Rajashekar Patil Humnabad have been appointed as ministers. JD(S) has finalised the names of H D Revanna, G T Deve Gowda, Bandeppa Kashempur, M C Manuguli, Gubbi Sreenivas, Venkatrao Nadagouda, Sa Ra Mahesh, N Mahesh and DC Thamanna for cabinet posts.

The power-sharing arrangement, particularly giving ” cart blanche ” to Kumaraswamy for full five years, has caused discontent in the Congress, with some of its leaders believing that it has been yielding much more than required to its junior partner.

In JD(S), several senior party MLAs were seen making a beeline to party supremo Deve Gowda’s residence for ministerial berths.

There are also reports of some disgruntlement over the party’s decision to keep members of the legislative council out of the ministry.

Kumaraswamy meanwhile ruled out any differences among JD(S) MLAs over cabinet berths and allocation of portfolios and said Gowda has been given total freedom on the next phase of cabinet expansion.

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