Flood relief is new ministers' first task

Governor Vajubhai Vala, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa along with the newly inducted ministers pose for a photograph during the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru on Tuesday. PTI Photo

The flood situation that has claimed 82 lives and displaced nearly seven lakh people set the agenda for the maiden meeting of the 18-member Cabinet on Tuesday where it was decided that the new ministers should rush to flood-hit districts. 

“All ministers will tour flood-hit areas over the next two days to review the ongoing relief works,” minister J C Madhuswamy said, briefing reporters. “We will visit taluks and villages, interact with people and collect their feedback. All of that will be collated and brought back for another discussion to determine short-term and long-term measures the government will need to take,” he added.

The Cabinet also discussed providing Rs 50,000 to individual flood victims who want to erect temporary sheds to live in, Madhuswamy said. “The government has already announced that every flood-affected family will be given Rs 10,000 to meet daily needs. This money will reach them latest by Wednesday,” Minister S Suresh Kumar, who accompanied Madhuswamy for the briefing, said. 

During the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa informed his new colleagues of the measures the government had taken thus far to tackle the flood situation. “Since there’s little time left, we decided not to take up any other subject and focus first on areas that are affected by the floods,” Madhuswamy said. 

No place for Jarkiholis

The Jarkiholis have been a part of every Cabinet since 2004, but not any more. Well, at least for now.

While Satish Jarkiholi was minister in the Congress-JD(S) coalition headed by Dharam Singh, Balachandra Jarkiholi was minister during the H D Kumaraswamy-led BJP-JD(S) coalition.

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