13 ministers to take oath on Feb 6: BSY

13 ministers to take oath on Feb 6, says Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa

Several BJP loyalists, too, are lobbying for the three Cabinet berths allotted to them

Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa. (Credit: DH Photo)

Ending suspense over the much-delayed Cabinet expansion, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced here on Sunday that 10 of the 11 newly-elected MLAs, along with three BJP old-timers, will be inducted into the ministry on February 6.

Yediyurappa told reporters that the new ministers will take oath at 10.30 am on February 6 at the Raj Bhavan. He said he was yet to decide whether the Cabinet will be reshuffled or expanded. “We will allot portfolios to new ministers as soon as they are sworn in,” the chief minister said. With the induction of 13, the strength of the Cabinet will be 31, including the present 18 ministers.

After the announcement, the underlying discord within BJP ranks — especially among those who joined the saffron party recently — came to the fore with leaders like H Vishwanath reiterating Cabinet demands and urging Yediyurappa to fulfil his promise.

On the demands by Vishwanath and M T B Nagaraj, the two defectors who lost the December bypolls, Yediyurappa said the question of inducting them does not arise as per the Supreme Court ruling on their disqualification petitions.

The announcement caused discontent among a few BJP legislators vying for Cabinet berths. According to sources, Yediyurappa had delayed Cabinet expansion till February 6, anticipating disgruntlement in the BJP camp. The chief minister is expected to reach out to BJP MLAs who are unhappy, and is likely to convince them of positions when the Cabinet is reshuffled in the future.

Attempts to reach out to MLAs who defected to BJP began on Sunday as the CM held talks with Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi on demands by Athani MLA Mahesh Kumathalli, Vishwanath and Nagaraj. Kumathalli said it was unfair that he was not part of the Cabinet, but demanded that at least Vishwanath be made a minister. 

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