The BJP government in Karnataka led by new Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda inducted five more ministers into his Cabinet taking the total tally to 27 leaving a room for another seven vacancies. The five new ministers, who were sworn in on Thursday, are Raju Gowda, CP Yogeshwar, Anand Asnotikar, Balachandra Jarkiholi and Varthur Prakash.
Out of the five new entrants only Prakash is an independent MLA while the rest belong to the BJP.
The induction of these ministers was preceded by very hectic negotiations among the various groups within the state BJP. Gowda, besides holding talks with the various groups, had to also consult with the national leaders of the party.
Gowda brought in 21 new ministers on August 8 as part of his Cabinet expansion. The five new ministers inducted on Thursday cannot be termed as long-term members of the BJP as they all joined the party from Congress and JD (S) couple of years back.
This decision has not gone too well with the rank and file of the state BJP as they were expecting some of their long-time leaders would be inducted into the Cabinet.
In fact, the two new ministers – Anand Asnotikar and Balachandra Jarkiholi – were expelled from the BJP in October last year during the tenure of former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa for revolting against his leadership.
Though, their disqualification was struck down as illegal by the Supreme Court. Each of these five ministers have been rewarded by the BJP for extending support to the government during the various periods of crisis. Prakash, as an independent MLA, had voted in favour of the government during the confidence vote in October, 2010.
However, Gowda has once again kept out the powerful Reddy brothers – G Janardhan Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy and their close associate B Sriramulu – from the Cabinet.
The Reddy brothers had camped in Delhi to press for their case and in fact questioned the induction of V Somanna into the Cabinet, who has also been indirectly implicated by the Karnataka Lokayukta in its report on illegal mining of iron ore.
The chief minister has not given any indication of further expansion of Cabinet as Karnataka is entitled to a total of 34 ministers. Meanwhile, in an interesting development, BJP MLA BP Harish urged the chief minister to drop Housing Minister V Somanna from the Cabinet as he too was indicted in the mining scam.
This is a surprising statement as it is understood that Somanna and Harish are staunch supporters of Yeddyurappa. Economic Times