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Saturday, February 22, 2020

B S Yediyurappa announces portfolios for 10 Cong-JD(S) turncoats

However, CM Yediyurappa held on to the much sought after Bengaluru development portfolio even though many legislators from the capital city lobbied heavily for the post.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Published: February 10, 2020 9:39:18 pm
B S Yediyurappa with his newly sworn in ministers on February 6.

Four days after ten out of the eleven JD(S) and Congress turncoats who won the December 2019 bye-elections on BJP tickets were inducted into the Cabinet, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday assigned them portfolios including irrigation and urban development.

However, the CM held on to the much sought after Bengaluru development portfolio even though many legislators from the capital city lobbied heavily for the post.

While Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), who played a crucial role in coordinating the fall of the former Congress-JD(S) coalition, will take over as the minister for Major and Minor Irrigation Department, S T Somasekhar (Yeshwantpur) got the Co-operation Department.

Byrathi Basavaraj (KR Puram) has been handed over the Urban Development portfolio which does not include control over Bengaluru Development, BBMP, BDA, BWSSB, and other bodies.

Chikkaballapur MLA K Sudhakar, who held the Chair of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) for a brief period, has been made minister for Medical Education.

At the same time, Anand Singh (Vijayanagar) will be the new Minister for Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs.

Here are the portfolios allocated to the other new ministers in the cabinet:

Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapur) – Labour
B C Patil (Hirekerur) – Forest
K Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout) – Small Scale Industries and Sugar
K C Narayan Gowda (KR Pet) – Municipal Administration
Shrimanth Patil (Kagwad) – Textile

With the new additions, the Karnataka cabinet consists of 28 ministers, including the chief minister. The cabinet has a sanctioned strength of 34.

“At least three more party loyalists will be made ministers as there are chances of three posts left vacant till the end of the term,” sources in the party said.

Former Congress MLA Mahesh Kumathalli,  who won the bypolls from Athani, has been promised a plum post in one of the state-run corporations instead of a Cabinet post.

The important Energy portfolio still rests with CM Yediyurappa. Agriculture, another major portfolio, has been handed over to deputy CM Laxman Savadi who already handles Transport, according to the gazette notification signed by Governor Vajubhai Vala on Monday.

With disgruntlement rising among senior party leaders, CM Yediyurappa had Sunday reiterated that eight-time MLA Umesh Katti will be made a minister “later.”

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