Vokkaligas get the lion’s share in Kumaraswamy’s Cabinet

Vokkaligas get the lion’s share in Kumaraswamy’s Cabinet

Vokkaligas have got the major share of ministerial berths in the Cabinet even as a number of districts have gone unrepresented.

Of the 25 ministers inducted into the Cabinet, nine are from the Vokkaliga community, followed by Lingayats four and Dalits and minorities getting three representations each.

While the Congress has tried to do a balancing act when it comes to caste considerations by giving ministerial berths to minor communities like Brahmin (R V Desphande), Ediga (Jayamala), Uppara (Puttaranga Shetty), it is lopsided when it comes to the JD(S). Six of the nine JD(S) MLAs who took oath on Wednesday are Vokkaligas.

Districts unrepresented

Several districts including Kolar, Ballari, Koppal, Shivamogga, Davangere, Chikkamagaluru, Bengaluru Rural do not find any representation in the Cabinet.

Kolar has gone unrepresented in the government in spite of the alliance partners winning all the six seats in the district. While Congress won four seats in the May 12 polls, JD(S) and Congress-supported candidates won one each.

K R Ramesh Kumar, MLA from Srinivaspur in the district was elected the Assembly Speaker .

Similarly, Ballari and Koppal districts have no representation in the ministry. It is said it is for the first time that Ballari, where six seats were bagged by the Congress, has remained unrepresented in the Cabinet.

With Wednesday’s expansion, the strength of the ministry has gone up to 27, leaving seven vacancies. As per the power-sharing agreement between the Congress and the JD(S), the ministerial berths will be shared in the ratio of 22:12.

When it comes to candidate selection, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara seems to have got an upper hand in getting his choice of candidates into the ministry. Former chief minister Siddaramaiah’s efforts to get his candidates - M B Patil, M T B Nagaraj, Roshan Baig among others - inducted into the ministry seem to have gone in vain.

The Congress finalised its names in New Delhi at a meeting by party chief Rahul Gandhi with senior leaders Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara besides AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal.

It is learnt that Rahul faced a dilemma in giving senior leader D K Shivakumar a Cabinet berth. However, he was rewarded as it was Shivakumar who kept the Congress flock together when BJP was trying to lure away its MLAs.

Former minister H K Patil initially figured in the list but his name was dropped at the last minute to accommodate Pavagada MLA Venkataramanappa, sources said.