Karnataka Cabinet Expansion: 24 Ministers Inducted into Siddaramaiah Ministry

Karnataka cabinet expansion: Karnataka’s Congress government expanded its cabinet on Saturday by inducting 24 ministers, filling all 34 ministerial posts a week after taking power in the state. Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot swore an oath of office and secrecy to these 24 ministers.

These ministers include 23 MPs and the surprise candidate for the Congress High Command, NS Boseraju, who is neither MP nor MLC. Congress worker. His name was cleared by the congressional high command yesterday,” a congressional leader told PTI.

There have been very rare instances where all sanctioned ministerial positions have been filled in Karnataka, a Congress office worker said.

The Karnataka government can have 34 ministers. Ten of them, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy DK Shivakumar, were sworn in on May 20.

Amid tight security, the swearing-in took place at the Raj Bhavan. MPs HK Patil, Krishna Byregowda, N Cheluvarayaswamy, K Venkatesh, HC Mahadevappa, incumbent Congress Speaker Eshwar Khandre and former State Congress Speaker Dinesh Gundu Rao are among those sworn in.

Others on the list are: Kyathasandra N Rajanna, Sharanabasappa Darshanapur, Shivanand Patil, Ramappa Balappa Timmapur, SS Mallikarjun, Shivaraj Sangappa Tangadagi, Sharanaprakash Rudrappa Patil, Mankal Vaidya, Laxmi Hebbalkar, Rahim Khan, D Sudhakar, Santosh Lad, NS Boseraju, Suresha BS, Madhu Bangarappa, MC Sudhakar and B Nagendra.

During the swearing-in ceremony, supporters of those MPs who were denied ministerial posts such as four-time MP Krishnappa, who was also a minister in the previous Congress government led by Siddaramaiah, held up slogans and held up signs demanding cabinet berths for their leaders. Laxmi Hebbalkar, Madhu Bangarappa, D Sudhakar, Cheluvaraya Swami, Mankul Vaidya and MC Sudhakar are close to Shivakumar, Congress sources say.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has struck a balance by giving representation by caste and region while respecting senior and junior MPs, an official statement said on Friday evening.

He also said that the cabinet will have eight Lingayats. Within them, different sub-sects of the community were represented. There will be five Vokkaligas, including Shivakumar, the statement said. The cabinet will have nine scheduled caste ministers, he said.

Portfolios have not yet been assigned. Minister of State KH Muniyappa said the portfolios will be announced in the evening.

Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar had been in Delhi for three days and had had several rounds of talks with the party leadership.

The names of the 24 ministerial candidates were decided after hours of turbulent deliberations between Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar and key central leaders, including AICC general secretaries KC Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and former party leader Rahul Gandhi gave the final nod to the list. Earlier, the two Karnataka leaders also met Sonia Gandhi, for the first time after the formation of government in the state. Differences between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar emerged over the names of likely ministers, but were settled during discussions, the sources said.

The Congress stormed into the Vidhana Soudha winning 135 seats out of the 224 assembly members, leaving the ruling BJP far behind, which won 66 seats while the JD(S) was third with 19 seats.

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