24 Ministers took oath today in Karnataka, expanding Chief Minister Siddaraiah’s cabinet a week after Congress assumed power in the southern state. Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot administered them the oath of office and secrecy.
The Karnataka government can have 34 ministers. Ten of them, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy DK Shivakumar, were sworn in on May 20.
MLAs HK Patil, Krishna Byregowda, N Cheluvarayaswamy, K Venkatesh, HC Mahadevappa, Congress working president Eshwar Khandre and former state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao are among those who took oath today.
Others on the list are Kyathasandra N Rajanna, Sharanabasappa Darshanapur, Shivanand Patil, Ramappa Balappa Timmapur, SS Mallikarjun, Shivaraj Sangappa Tangadagi, Sharanaprakash Rudrappa Patil, Mankal Vaidya, Laxmi Hebbalkar, Rahim Khan, D Sudhakar, Santosh Lad, NS Boseraju, Suresha BS, Madhu Bangarappa, MC Sudhakar and B Nagendra.
Lakshmi Hebbalkar, Madhu Bangarappa, D Sudhakar, Cheluvaraya Swami, Mankul Vaidya and MC Sudhakar are close to Mr Shivakumar, according to Congress sources.
The Congress’ list figures names of six Lingayats and four Vokkaligas.
Three MLAs are from Scheduled Castes, two from Scheduled Tribes and five from Other Backward Communities — Kuruba, Raju, Maratha, Ediga and Mogaveera.
In Dinesh Gundu Rao, Brahmins have also got representation in the cabinet.
Seven ministers each are from Old Mysuru and Kalyana Karnataka regions, six from Kittur Karnataka region and two from central Karnataka.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has struck a balance by giving caste and region-wise representation along with giving due respect to senior as well as junior MLAs, an official statement said.
He also said the cabinet will have eight Lingayats. Within them, different sub-sects of the community have been given representation.
There will be five Vokkaligas, including Mr Shivakumar, the statement said.
The cabinet will have nine Scheduled Caste ministers, it said.
The portfolios have not been allotted yet. State Minister KH Muniyappa said the portfolios will be announced by Saturday evening.
Both Siddaramaiah and Mr Shivakumar have been in Delhi for the last three days and have held several rounds of discussion with the party leadership.
The names of the 24 MLAs were decided after hours of hectic deliberations between Siddaramaiah, Mr Shivakumar and the top central leaders, including AICC general secretaries KC Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi gave the final nod to the list.