3 from K'taka in Modi Cabinet

3 from K'taka in Modi Cabinet

Apparently keeping the caste equation in mind, Narendra Modi inducted three MPs from Karnataka – two as Cabinet ministers and one as Minister of State (MoS) – into his team on Monday.

Former Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda and senior leader Anant Kumar were inducted as Cabinet ministers while G M Siddeshwara was made an MoS. Though Rajya Sabha member from state Venkaiah Naidu was inducted into the Cabinet, party sources said it was from Andhra Pradesh quota.

Considering his seniority and earlier experience as Cabinet minister, Modi picked Ananth Kumar for the Cabinet while the berths to Gowda and Siddeshwara were seen as a move to give representation to the dominant Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities, respectively.

Sources said the state BJP unit had suggested Ananth Kumar in senior leaders quota while Sadananda Gowda from Vokkaliga community and three names – G M Siddeshwara, Suresh Angadi and Shivakumar Udasi – from Lingayat community.

Though the party accepted both Ananth Kumar and Gowda’s name for the Cabinet, it selected Siddeshwara among the Lingayat leaders as he is the senior-most MP among the three.

Modi did not induct former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa as he has apparently told the Lingayat leader that he would be given justice only after he gets a clean chit in corruption cases. Siddeshwara was selected to appease Lingayat community, sources told Deccan Herald.

In the oath-taking ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Sadananda Gowda was sitting in front row and his was the seventh name called while Ananth Kumar was sitting in the second row and called 13th for taking oath.

Though the BJP won only 17 of the 28 BJP seats from Karnataka, Modi gave three slots to the state acknowledging the revival of the organisation in southern state where the party faced debacle in the last year’s Assembly polls, sources said.

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