After a prolonged delay, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday appointed nine JD(S) leaders (including eight MLAs) to various boards and corporations, in addition to appointing four legislators as parliamentary secretaries, and a former MLA as his political secretary.
Though his coalition partner, the Congress, had made these appointments two months ago, Kumaraswamy had chosen to wait out the procedure.
Kumaraswamy had in fact not made any political appointments during his 20-month stint as chief minister in 2006-07. He had wanted to continue the practice this time too, despite knowing that it had upset the legislators vying for these lucrative posts.
Kumaraswamy however had a wake up call after the BJP tried to cash in on the situation. The BJP, which was making a desperate bid to topple the coalition government, started reaching out to these disgruntled JD(S) MLAs, fueling rumours that the regional MLAs too might jump ship.
The chief minister has rewarded his Gurmitkal MLA Naganagouda Kandkur, who BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa had tried to lure a fortnight ago. Kandkur has been appointed the chairman of the Karnataka Slum Development Board.
Following is the list of other appointments: Raja Venkatappa Naik (Manvi), Chairman, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation; D C Gowrishankar (Tumakuru Rural), Chairman, Mysore Sales International Ltd; B Sathyanarayana (Sira), Chairman, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation; Nisarga Narayanaswamy L N (Devanahalli), Chairman, Bangalore International Airport Authority; K Annadani (Malavalli), Chairman, Devaraj Urs Backward Classes Development Corporation; K M Shivalinge Gowda (Arsikere), Chairman, Karnataka Housing Board, K Mahadeva (Periyapatna), Karnataka State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation.
JD(S) national general secretary Mohammed Zafrulla Khan has been appointed as the Chairman of the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation.
The chief minister has also accommodated two Congress MLAs - T Venkataramanaiah (Doddaballapur) and Bheema Naik (Hagaribommanahalli). While Venkataramanaiah has been appointed as the chairman of Karnataka Forest Industrial Corporation Ltd, Naik has been made the chairman of Karnataka Tanda Development Corporation.
Former party MLA N H Kona Reddy has been appointed as second political secretary to the chief minister. Earlier, Congress MLA V Muniyappa was also appointed to the said post.
In December, 2018, the Congress had recommended names of 19 legislators for the statutory bodies. Except for one -- K Sudhakar’s appointment as chairman, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), Kumaraswamy had cleared all other names. He had also cleared the appointments of nine Congress legislators as parliamentary secretaries.