Horatti may fill Cabinet slot vacated by N Mahesh

Horatti may fill Cabinet slot vacated by N Mahesh

 N Mahesh. DH file photo

JD(S) MLC and Legislative Council interim chairman Basaravaraj Horatti is tipped to fill the slot vacated by former minister N Mahesh in the H D Kumaraswamy Cabinet. Horatti is also likely to be entrusted with the Primary and Secondary Education portfolio, previously held by Mahesh.

Sources in the JD(S) said party supremo H D Deve Gowda and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had already held discussions with Horatti in this regard.

Kumaraswamy is learnt to be keen on inducting Horatti at the earliest (after the bypolls), given that the examination season is just a few months away. The portfolio fell vacant on October 11, after Mahesh, the lone Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) minister, tendered his resignation.

It’s not clear whether the coalition government will fill up all the vacancies in the Cabinet or will restrict itself to inducting Horatti into the Cabinet for the time being.

Incidentally, Horatti had been the primary and secondary education minister in the BJP-JD(S) coalition government headed by Kumaraswamy in 2006.

The seven-time MLC, who represents the west teachers' constituency, has been vying for the primary and secondary education portfolio ever since the coalition government was formed. The JD(S) leadership had, however, offered him the Council chairman post, which he reluctantly accepted.

As per the agreement between the coalition partners during the formation of the government, the JD(S) got 12 berths and the Congress 22 berths. The JD(S) has filled 11 berths, leaving one vacant. This vacancy might be filled at the time of the next round of cabinet expansion, sources added.

When contacted, Horatti said that he was not aware of the development. “I am not sure if the JD(S) leadership has arrived at such a decision. I will abide by whatever decision they take. It is a fact that the primary and secondary education department is in a complete mess and it needs somebody capable at the helm to bring about reforms,” he added.