Karnataka finally has a cabinet with 17 ministers taking oath today, three weeks after Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa was sworn in following the collapse of the previous Congress-Janata Dal coalition government.
The Chief Minister, criticised by the Congress and JDS for the delay in the appointment of ministers, proposed the names of 17 MLAs including KS Eshwarappa, Jagdish Shettar, CT Ravi and Basavaraj Bommai to Governor Vajubhai Vala on Monday.
"Within two-three hours, I am going to get the final list from Amit bhai (BJP president Amit Shah). So, cabinet expansion will be done tomorrow," Mr Yediyurappa told reporters on Monday.
The 76-year-old BJP veteran had run a "one-man cabinet" for over 20 days, during which the state has battled a massive flood crisis. Over 80 people have died in floods following days of heavy rainfall across the state. Criticising the ruling BJP for its one-man government, the Congress alleged that the administration resembled President's rule.
Those who were made ministers today are Govind Makthappa Karajol, Dr Ashwath Narayan C N, Laxman Sangappa Savadi, R Ashoka, B Sreeramulu, S Suresh Kumar, V Somanna, Kota Shrinivas Poojari, J C Madhu Swamy, Chandrakantagouda Channappagouda Patil, H Ganesh, Prabhu Chauhan and Jolle Shashikala Annasaheb.
Choosing ministers has been a tightrope walk for Mr Yediyurappa, who came to power for the fourth time after multiple resignations toppled the year-old Congress-JDS coalition. Seventeen MLAs quit the previous government, plunging it into a minority and facilitating the BJP's takeover.
Whether the MLAs who quit stand disqualified will be decided by the Supreme Court. Former Speaker Ramesh Kumar had disqualified all 17 rebels under the anti-defection law, after which the MLAs approached the Supreme Court. Sources say if they get re-elected, they may be accommodated in the Yediyurappa government as ministers.