Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expanded his Cabinet on Saturday by fulfilling regional aspirations and giving importance to Bangalore city.
In a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan’s Glass House, 28 ministers were administered the oath by Governor H. R. Bhardwaj.
The Chief Minister has opted for a two-tier ministry — 20 ministers of Cabinet rank and eight Ministers of State. Under the constitutional arrangement, Karnataka can have a 34-member ministry, including the chief minister.
The Congress party, which came to power after a gap of nine years, has won 121 seats of the 223 for which polls were held May 5. The party has opted for a mix of experienced members and has accommodated new faces.
Umashree, a noted Kannada film actor, is the lone woman in the ministry and the chief minister has kept five vacant slots for future expansion.
Keeping next year’s Lok Sabha elections in mind, Siddaramaiah has inducted four — Ramalinga Reddy, K. J. George, Dinesh Gundurao and Krishna Byregowda — from Bangalore city.
The Chief Minister gave more importance to the Old Mysore region and has done a delicate balancing act of all dominant communities.
Some of the key legislators who have been made ministers include T. B. Jayachandra, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, V. Srinivasa Prasad, H. C. Mahadevappa, H. S. Mahadeva Prasad, M. H. Ambarish, H. Anjaneya, Shivaraj S. Thangadagi, Kimmane Ratnakar and P T Parameshwar Naik.
Meanwhile, protests broke out in parts of Karnataka today as supporters of Congress leaders who failed to get a berth gave vent to their anger in various parts of the State.
In the district headquarters town of Yadgir, Congress workers ransacked the party office and set fire to windows over denial of ministership to senior leader A. B. Maalaka Reddy, police said.
In Ramanagara and Mandya, they held a dharna demanding that D. K. Shivakumar, former Working President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, be included in the ministry.
Senior leader Motamma, former Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, ex-CWC member and a strong contender for the berth, stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan.