New Karnataka ministers get portfolios, CM gives up 9 depts

Bengaluru, February 10, 2020

Giving up nine departments he was holding for over six months, Karnataka Chief Minister B. S Yediyurappa on Monday allocated portfolios to the 10 new ministers sworn in on February 6.

Allocating the portfolios, Yediyurappa allowed the incumbent 17 ministers to retain their portfolios but shifted additional charges of some of them to their new colleagues.

"Besides finance, the Chief Minister retained planning, energy, administration, Bengaluru development, intelligence and information and public relations," an official told IANS here.

Ramesh Jarkiholi, who spearheaded the revolt against the Congress and rallied other rebels to resign from the Assembly in July, was rewarded with a plum post -- major and medium irrigation projects, excluding water resources, which Yediyurappa kept with himself.

The revolt by 14 Congress and three Janata Dal-Secular legislators led to the fall of the 14-month-old JD-S-Congress coalition government on July 23 after Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy lost the confidence motion he moved on July 18.

Anand Singh got food, civil supplies and consumer affairs, S. B. Patil textiles, K. Gopalaiah, small-scale industries, B. A. Basavaraja, urban development, S. T. Somashekar, cooperation, B. C. Patil, forest, K. Sudhakar, medical education, K. C. Narayana Gowda, municipal administration and A. H. Shivaram, labour.

The first cabinet expansion was on August 20 when 17 members of the ruling BJP were inducted over three weeks after Yediyurappa took oath as the Chief Minister for the fourth time on July 26.

In the 34-member ministry, the six vacancies will be filled after the Budget session in March.

"The third cabinet expansion is likely to be held after summer when vacancies in the Legislative Council will have to be filled for making them ministers.

Of the 17 defectors from the opposition Congress and JD-S, 13 re-contested in the December 5 by-elections 5 and 11 won, while M.T.B. Nagaraj and A.H. Vishwanath lost.

"As the Chief Minister promised to the two losers to make them ministers, they may be inducted after they get elected to the Council," a party official told IANS.

Bye-elections in Muski in Raichur district and RR Nagar in southwest Bengaluru are pending the outcome of the litigation in the Karnataka High Court on their results declared in the 2018 Assembly elections.

Governor Vajubhai Vala allocated the portfolios to the new ministers on the Chief Minister's advice, said a Raj Bhavan communique.


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