Updated: January 22, 2021 8:09:14 am
The Karnataka government on Thursday announced the allocation of portfolios to the seven ministers who were inducted into the cabinet on January 13. As per the official notification issued by the Governor, a major reshuffle of departments handled by some ministers, who are still part of the cabinet, has taken place.
Among the new faces in the BS Yediyurappa-led cabinet are MTB Nagaraj, who has been allocated the Excise department, and R Shankar, who has been entrusted with Municipal Administration and Sericulture. Nagaraj, who was formerly with the Congress, and Shankar, an Independent MLA, were elected to the legislative council in line with a promise made by the ruling BJP to reward them for switching sides. They were two of 17 MLAs who linked their lot with the BJP in 2019, resulting in the eventual fall of the Congress-JDS coalition.
Eight-time BJP MLA Umesh Katti will take charge as the minister for food, civil supplies and consumer affairs, while S Angara, who has been elected to the House for the sixth time, has been allocated the department of fisheries, ports and inland transport.
Arvind Limbavalli will be the forest minister while Murugesh Nirani will take charge of the mines and geology department. Both are serving third term in the Karnataka Assembly.
CP Yogeshwar, an MLC who has switched loyalties many times over, has been handed charge of the minor irrigation department, which was previously held by JC Madhuswamy.
In another significant change to the cabinet, Madhuswamy was also been divested of law, parliamentary affairs, and legislation portfolios and put in charge medical education, Kannada, and culture departments instead. Medical education was previously handled by Sudhakar, who will now be looking after the health and family welfare department.
Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has been additionally entrusted with law, parliamentary affairs and legislation portfolios, while Anand Singh has been vested with the tourism portfolio in addition to environment and ecology. However, the latter was divested of the forest department.
However, Yediyurappa decided to keep key portfolios, including Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR), cabinet affairs, finance, Bangalore development, energy, intelligence, planning, programme monitoring statistics and infrastructure development, with himself.
With the induction of the new faces, the Yediyurappa cabinet now has a strength of 33, one short of full capacity.
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