Two to exit, 8 new faces to join HDK Cabinet today

Two to exit, 8 new faces to join HDK Cabinet today

The much-awaited expansion and reshuffle of the H D Kumaraswamy Cabinet will take place on Saturday with the Congress top brass giving its nod for dropping two ministers and inducting eight new faces under its quota.  

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who chaired a meeting with the party’s state leadership on Friday, also approved the appointment seven legislators as parliamentary secretaries and 20 legislators as chairpersons of boards and corporations. The swearing-in will be held on Saturday at Raj Bhavan at 5.20 pm.

Rahul also approved the appointment of Jewargi MLA Ajay Singh, son of former chief minister, the late Dharam Singh, as Delhi Representative.

Two sitting ministers Ramesh Jarkiholi (Municipal Administration) and R Shankar (Forest and Environment) will be dropped, sources in the party told DH.

ALSO READ: First signs of dissidence ahead of cabinet expansion

Satish Jarkiholi (brother of Ramesh Jarkiholi and MLA from Yamakanamaradi), C S Shivalli (Kundgol MLA), R B Thimmapur (MLC from Bagalkot district), M T B Nagaraj (Hoskote), E Tukaram (Sandur), P T Parameshwar Naik (Hoovina Hadagali) and Rahim Khan (Bidar North) will be inducted. Under the Lingayat quota, three MLAs M B Patil (Babaleshwar), B C Patil (Hirekerur) and B K Sangameshwara (Bhadravathi) are lobbying hard for a berth. The high command assured the state leaders that it will finalise one of the three names on Saturday morning and communicate it to them. 

The party decided to drop Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak) for indulging in dissident activities and in his place his brother Satish, who is also a legislator from Belagavi district, will be inducted, sources said.

Shankar will be dropped as he refused to join the Congress as an associate member even after he was made a minister in the coalition government. Shankar, who won from the Ranebennur Assembly segment as an independent candidate, had extended his support to the Congress.

In the meeting, which was attended by Pradesh Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister Parameshwar and KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre, the party top brass tried to strike a balance by giving representation to young and old faces. 

With the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in mind, the party undertook the Cabinet expansion and appointments to boards and corporations by giving representation to all communities and regions, said a senior leader in the party.

According to the pact reached by the two partners at the time of formation of the coalition government in May, there are six vacant ministerial positions left for the Congress and two for the JD(S).

The Cabinet expansion is expected to pacify members of the Congress camp who had become restless following its repeated postponement.

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