Karnataka Cabinet Expanded, 25 New Ministers Take Oath

Senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily told NDTV that the process had been quite tricky. "We cannot upset anybody but Rahul Gandhi has made good choices. It will be a stable cabinet," he said.

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Karnataka Cabinet Expanded, 25 New Ministers Take Oath

10 JDS ministers are now in place along with 14 Congress ministers.


Bengaluru:  The Karnataka cabinet was finally expanded today - two weeks after chief minister, HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal Secular and his Congress deputy, G Parameshwara were sworn in. It took days of negotiations to decide which party in the coalition government would get which portfolio - but the breakthrough finally happened last Friday. And the swearing in of at least part of the cabinet was done as soon as the Governor was free. 

10 JDS ministers are now in place along with 15 Congress ministers. Portfolios will be announced soon. There are some posts which are still vacant as upto 34 ministers can be accommodated in the cabinet of this coalition government. This may give hope to those not inducted into the cabinet yet. 

Senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily told NDTV that the process had been quite tricky. "We cannot upset anybody but Rahul Gandhi has made good choices. It will be a stable cabinet," he said. 

DK Shivakumar is back in the cabinet. This trouble shooter for the Congress denied he was sulking over not being made deputy chief minister. He must have known his reward was on its way in the form of a cabinet berth. Mr Shivakumar had been Power Minister in the previous Congress government. 

Also back, is the controversial KJ George. He was formerly Home minister and then minister in charge of Bengaluru at a time when a much-opposed steel bridge project that would have meant the cutting down of hundreds of trees was suggested. It was reported that Infosys founder, Narayan Murthy, who has been approached by chief minister Kumaraswamy to head a Bengaluru city task force, has suggested that Mr George not continue as the minister in charge of the city. Mr George told NDTV, "I have respect for Mr Murthy. If that is his opinion I will listen to it. I will take whatever responsibility is given to me."

The only woman in the cabinet - at least so far - is national award winning actress, Jayamala, a Congress MLC. She says the coalition government is a love marriage that will work. Ms Jayamala told NDTV, "Both the Janata Dal Secular and the Congress have the same aim. This will work."

The lone BSP member in the house, N Mahesh, was also made a minister. The BSP had a pre-poll alliance with the JDS and party leader Mayawati had campaigned in Karnataka. 

The chief minister's brother, H D Revanna, was the first to be sworn in today. Another JDS minister is G T Deve Gowda, who defeated former chief minister, Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari - in his home district of Mysuru. 

Among those who didn't make the cut so far - Lingayat leader and former irrigation minister, M B Patil - who urged the state government to recommend minority status for the Lingayat community. Roshan Baig is another city-based  Congress leader who was not included in this expansion. 

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