Finally, K'taka CM expands Cabinet, inducts 10 BJP MLAs

Finally, Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa expands Cabinet, inducts 10 BJP MLAs

(L-R) K Sudhakar, Shrimant Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Anand Singh, Narayana Gowda, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala and Chief Minister BS Yeddiyurappa, BC Patil, K Gopalaiah, ST Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraj and Shivaram Hebbar pose for a photo-op after the newly-inducted ministers took oath at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru on Thursday. | DH Photo: Pushkar V

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa inducted 10 BJP MLAs to his Cabinet here on Thursday. They are among the 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs who defected last year.

The much-delayed expansion came almost two-months after the MLAs won the bypolls held in December. During the period, the defectors camp exerted pressure on Yediyurappa to expand the Cabinet and include all the MLAs who contested the bypolls.

The new ministers sworn in are S T Somashekar, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, K Gopalaiah, B C Patil, Dr K Sudhakar, Shivaram Hebbar, Anand Singh, Narayana Gowda and Shrimanth Patil. 

One of the 11 MLAs from the defectors camp, Mahesh Kumathalli was not inducted as he hailed from the same constituency as Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi. Three others, MTB Nagaraj, H Vishwanath and R Shankar are likely to be inducted in June.

Governor Vajubhai Vala administered oaths to the new ministers at Raj Bhavan, where hundreds of supporters came to witness the event. Authorities had also beefed up security arrangements outside Raj Bhavan for the ceremony.

Earlier, Yediyurappa was to induct 10 newly-elected MLAs and three old-timer BJP MLAs. But on Wednesday evening, the BJP's central leadership stepped in to decide that only 10 newly-elected MLAs should be inducted after disgruntlement surfaced among BJP MLAs over former minister C P Yogeeshwar's induction.

Several MLAs led by chief minister's political secretary MP Renukacharya had raised a hue and cry over allotting berths to those who lost Assembly polls. A group of 13 to 15 MLAs had also demanded adequate representation to Kalyana Karnataka region, alleging that the new Cabinet had excess representation from few districts of Karnataka, such as Bengaluru Urban and Belagavi.

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