Shobha powers on with new portfolio

On Day 1, new ministers test the waters in their depts; have tough challenges to cope with

Shobha powers on with new portfolio

That is how Shobha Karandlaje has expressed her joy on her website, on her becoming minister again. She has tweeted the same message.

Known for her brisk style of functioning, Karandlaje arrived at Vidhana Soudha at 10 am, the day after the swearing-in. During a gruelling work day, she had a marathon meeting with the officials of the Energy Department at the KPCL headquarters. She faces the tough challenge of heading the department that has copped allround criticism for failing to provide adequate power supply to the State.

Like Karandlaje, other newly inducted ministers V Somanna, C C Patil, A Narayanaswamy held meetings with their officers to get oriented with their mandate. Ministers S A Ramdas and Vijayashankar, however did not turn up at Vidhana Soudha. R Ashok and V S Acharya, who got new portfolios also held meetings. Ashok also briefed the media on his new department - Home.

The new ministers have a welter of onerous responsibilities awaiting them as they have portfolios which have been in news for many reasons in the recent days.   Somanna has got Food and Civil Supplies, the department which has the task of supplying foodgrains to all BPL card holders.

As of now, of 1.20 crore families in the State, more than 1.06 crore families possess BPL cards. The department is working out a system for bio-metric identification of card holders. He has the challenge to weed out all those who do not deserve the card.

Medical Education minister S A Ramdas, who preferred to visit Mysore the day after taking oath, has the tough task in handling the crisis in the aftermath of scam in recruitment of staff in Mysore and Hassan medical colleges. His predecessor Ramachandra Gowda had to quit the Cabinet over the controversy. The media has continued exposing similar irregularities in other medicall colleges, even after resignation of Gowda.

For the first time since he became Chief Minister, Yeddyurappa has parted with the Forest Department. He chose his confidant C H Vijayashankar for the portfolio, which attracts significance in the wake of row over illegal extraction and transport of iron ore from forest areas. With a few ministers and legislators into mining activities, Vijayashankar will have a thankless job on hand.

The immediate challenge for Social Welfare minister A Narayanaswamy is to offer conducive living environment for beggars at the Beggars’ Rehabilitation Centre in Bangalore. The centre was in news for a series of deaths recently. In addition, the department is at the receiving end for not utilising budgetary allocations.

C C Patil has the challenge of implementing the Chief Minister’s pet project - Bhagyalakshmi. The Opposition parties had been alleging that many of entitled girls were yet to get the bond certificates.

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