Kumaraswamy inducts 25 ministers

A view of the Raj Bhavan where the swearing-in ceremony was held on Wednesday. (DH File Photo)

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy expanded his Cabinet with 25 ministers taking the oath of office at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan on Wednesday afternoon.

In all, 14 legislators from the Congress, nine from its coalition partner the JD(S) and one each from the BSP and KPJP were sworn in as ministers by Governor Vajubhai Vala. All have been given Cabinet rank.

H D Revanna, son of former prime minister and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda and senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar were among those who took the oath. JD(S)’s G T Devegowda, who emerged as a giant killer defeating former chief minister Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru in the Assembly polls was also inducted. Portfolios are likely to be allotted on Thursday.

Others in the Congress camp include senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s son Priyank Kharge. B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, who quit the JD(S) to join the Congress, was given a Cabinet berth. JD(S)’s Bandeppa Kashampur, D C Thamanna, S R Srinivas, C S Puttaraju, S R Mahesh, also took the oath of office. Congress MLC Jayamala is the lone woman in the ministry.

With Wednesday’s expansion, the strength of the ministry has gone up to 27, leaving seven more vacancies to be filled. According to the power-sharing agreement between the Congress and the JD(S), the ministerial berths will be shared in the ratio of 22:12. There were changes in both the Congress and the JD(S) list as lobbying continued till the last minute to get into the Cabinet in the first instalment.

Lobbying by the newly sworn-in ministers to get key portfolios, is said to be the main reason why the allotment of ministries was put on hold on Wednesday. Senior ministers in both the Congress and the JD(S) are mounting pressure on the party to give them plum portfolios.

The expansion sparked off a wave of dissidence and protests, especially in the Congress camp, by those who did not find themselves in the list.

Several seniors in the Congress including H K Patil, M B Patil and Ramalinga Reddy have been left out. Around 200 supporters of H K Patil protested at Chalukya Circle near Vidhana Soudha and demanded that he be given a ministerial berth.

The swearing-in of the new ministers which began at 2.12 pm was followed by a Cabinet meeting chaired by Kumaraswamy.

The Congress-JD(S) coalition government came into existence on May 23 when Kumaraswamy took oath as chief minister and KPCC president G Parameshwara as his deputy.

Congress ministers: R V Deshpande, D K Shivakumar, K J George, Krishna Byre Gowda, Shivashankara Reddy, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Priyank Kharge, U T Khader, Zameer Ahmed Khan

Shivanand Patil, Venkataramanappa, Rajshekar Patil, Puttaranga Shetty, Jayamala, R Shankar (KPJP).

JD(S) ministers: H D Revanna, Bandeppa Kashampur, G T Deve Gowda, D C Thammanna, M C Managali, S R Srinivas, Venkatrao Nadagouda, C S Puttaraju, S R Mahesh, N Mahesh (BSP).

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Kumaraswamy inducts 25 ministers

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