Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday expanded his Cabinet with the induction of 25 ministers.
The Cabinet expansion comes after many 14 days of consultations between coalition partners JD(S) and Congress, and also deliberations within the parties.
Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office to 10 MLAs of the JD(S) and 14 legislators of the Congress, in the presence of Kumaraswamy and Deputy CM G Parameshwara.
As per the coalition’s power-sharing formula, JD(S) gets 12 ministerial berths, and the Congress, 22. After Wednesay’s expansion, one slot of the JD(S) has been kept vacant. The Congress, on the other hand, has kept seven seats unoccupied to contain the dissidents.
Several senior leaders are reported to be unhappy at being denied ministerial positions, including Satish Jarkhiholi, MB Patil, BC Patil, and CS Shivalii. Others Congress men who were miffed include Shamanur Shivashankarappa, HK Patil, Roshan Baig, Ramalinga Reddy and Tanveer Sait.
Prominent JD(S) legislators inducted include HD Revanna, Bandappa Kashampur, GT Devegowda, DC Thamanna, MC Managuli, Srinivas Vasu, Venkatrao Nadagouda, CS Puttaraju, SR Mahesh, Venkataramanappa and lone BSP member M Mahesh.
From the Congress, RV Deshpande, DK Shivakumar, KJ George, Krishna Byregowda, NH Shivashankar Reddy, Ramesh Jharkiholi, Priyank Kharge, UT Abdul Khader, BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan, Shivanand Patil, Rajshekar Basavaraj Patil, C Puttaranga Shetty, Jaimala Ramachandra and independent R Shankar were inducted.
Later, addressing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Kumaraswamy, said: “Deputy Chief Minister Paramaeshwara and I had a detailed discussion with 23 new ministers as to how to respond to the people’s problems. All ministers have been told to work in the districts to give good governance.”
Parameshwara said the Congress had 80 senior MLAs, but only 22 could be accommodated.
Allaying fears of dissidence pulling down the government, Parameshwara said “No need to have any doubts. We will rule the State for five years.”
Both Kumaraswamy and Paramaeshwara said: “As the Cabinet has been formed today the next step is to form a co-ordation committee. The committee when constituted will draw up a road map by framing common minimum programme.”