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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Karnataka: Bommai Cabinet ministers get portfolios allotted

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai keeps Finance, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) and Intelligence portfolios with himself along with the plum post of Bengaluru Development.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bangalore |
Updated: August 7, 2021 2:11:14 pm
Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai with newly inducted ministers during swearing-in ceremony to form the cabinet at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru. (Photo: PTI)

Karnataka ministers, who are a part of the newly-inducted Basavaraj Bommai-led Cabinet, were allocated portfolios Saturday, three days after they took oath at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru.

Bommai kept Finance, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) and Intelligence portfolios with himself along with the plum post of Bengaluru Development, a trend similar to his predecessor B S Yediyurappa’s term.

The Home Department — that Bommai held previously — was given to a fresh face in the cabinet — Araga Jnanendra. The 68-year-old is a person known for his RSS backing representing the Vokkaliga community. Jnanendra has been into electoral politics since 1983 but could make it to the state cabinet for the first time nearly four decades later.

A four-time MLA from Theerthahalli in Shivamogga district, he was dubbed to get a place in the Yediyurappa (also from Shivamogga) Cabinet in 2019, but missed out his chance to K S Eshwarappa being picked as the second face from the district. Jnanendra was then made the chairman of the Karnataka Housing Board.

Another debutant, a former Sangh Parivar leader, B C Nagesh will replace S Suresh Kumar as the Primary and Secondary Education Minister. The other native first-timer, V Sunil Kumar, has been invested with the powerful Energy portfolio along with Kannada and Culture.

Halappa Achar was given Mines and Geology and will replace Murugesh Nirani who will now take care of the Large & Medium Industries Department. Achar (69), who was first elected to the Assembly in 2018 from Koppal’s Yelburga constituency, has also been given the charge of Women and Child Development portfolios.

The lone woman minister in the Cabinet, Shashikala Jolle, has been made the minister for Haj and Waqf Department. This can be seen as an effect of alleged corruption in the free egg distribution scheme meant for children of Anganwadis that was discussed during the final days of the Yediyurappa-led Cabinet.

Shankar B Patil Munenakoppa is the new minister for Handlooms, Textiles, Sugar and Sugarcane Development.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Govind M Karjol has obtained the charge of the Major and Medium Irrigation portfolios from the Water Resources Department. These were allocated to Ramesh Jarkiholi earlier, who resigned earlier in March following allegations of sexual harassment against him. Minor Irrigation, the latter half of the Water Resources Department, will be handled by J C Madhuswamy, who was also reinvested with the charge of Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation, which he held previously till January 2021.

The other Deputy CM in the previous Cabinet, C N Ashwathnarayan, has retained all portfolios, including Higher Education, Information Technology & Biotechnology, Science & Technology, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, and Livelihood. Interestingly, he had declared that no files were kept pending in the departments he handled soon after the previous Council of Ministers was dissolved following Yediyurappa’s resignation.

The third Deputy CM in the previous cabinet, Laxman Savadi, failing to find a place in the Cabinet this time with the Transport Department he handled been handed over to B Sreeramulu. The 50-year-old Ballari-based prominent Valmiki leader from the Scheduled Tribes (ST) community will be in charge of ST Welfare in the Bommai Cabinet.

‘Migrants’ retain portfolios, fresh face N Munirathna gets Horticulture

As many as nine out of the ten legislators who defected from Congress and JD(S) and found a place in the BJP-led Cabinet for the second consecutive time, retained the portfolios they handled earlier.

These include K Sudhakar (Health, Medical Education), Shivaram Hebbar (Labour), Byrathi Basavaraj (Urban Development excluding Bengaluru), B C Patil (Agriculture), M T B Nagaraj (Municipal Administration, Small Scale Industries, Public sector Industries), S T Somasekhar (Cooperation), K C Narayana Gowda (Sericulture, Youth Empowerment, Sports) and K Gopalaiah (Excise).

A fresh face among the “migrants” — N Munirathna — who replaced R Shankar, has been given Horticulture and Planning, Programme Monitoring and Statistics.

Anand Singh, a prominent face from the Kalyana Karnataka region has been handed over the additional charge of Tourism — divested off C P Yogeshwar known to be anti-Yediyurappa — apart from Ecology and Environment that he held earlier.

Here’s the full list of the new Council of Ministers in Karnataka and the portfolios allocated to them:

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai: DPAR, Finance, Intelligence, Cabinet Affairs, Bengaluru Development, and all unallocated portfolios

Govind M Karjol: Major and Medium Irrigation

K S Eshwarappa: Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department

R Ashoka: Revenue (excluding Muzarai)

B Sreeramulu: Transport, ST welfare

V Somanna: Housing, Infrastructure Development

Umesh Katti: Forest, Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs

Angara S: Fisheries, Ports and Inland Transport

J C Madhuswamy: Minor Irrigation, Law, Parliamentary Affairs, and legislation

Aaraga Jnanendra: Home (excluding Intelligence)

C N Aswathnarayan: Higher Education, IT & BT, Science and Technology, Skill Development

Chandrakantagouda Patil: Public Works Department (PWD)

Anand Singh: Ecology and Environment, Tourism

Kota Shrinivas Poojari: Social Welfare, Backward Classes welfare

Prabhu Chavan: Animal Husbandry

Murugesh Nirani: Large and Medium Industries

Shivaram Hebbar: Labour

S T Somasehkhar: Cooperation

B C Patil: Agriculture

Byrathi Basavaraj: Urban Development (including KUWSDB & KUDIDFC, excluding Bengaluru development, BBMP, BDA, BWSSB, BMRDA, BMRCL, and Directorate of Town Planning)

K Sudhakar: Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education

K Gopalaiah: Excise

Shasikala Jolle: Muzarai (Endowments), Haj & Waqf

M T B Nagaraj: Municipal Administration, Small-scale Industries, Public Sector Industries

Narayanagowda: Sericulture, youth empowerment, and sports

B C Nagesh: Primary and Secondary Education, Sakala

V Sunil Kumar: Energy, Kannada, and Culture

Achar Halappa Basappa: Mines and Geology, Women and Child Development

Shankar B Patil Munenakoppa: Handlooms, Textile, Sugar, Sugarcane Development

N Munirathna: Horticulture, Planning, Programme Monitoring, Statistics

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