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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Karnataka: CM Siddaramaiah sacks 14 ministers ahead of cabinet reshuffle

With Congress High Command giving go-ahead for the much awaited exercise, the Chief Minister recommended sacking of 14 ministers prior to the swearing in of new ministers.

By: PTI | Bengaluru | Updated: June 19, 2016 7:58:51 pm
Siddaramaiah Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

In a major revamp, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday sacked 14 ministers and inducted 13 members into his Council of Ministry in the long awaited exercise.

With the Congress High Command giving the go-ahead, nine ministers of cabinet rank and four ministers of state were inducted at the swearing in ceremony at Raj Bhavan with Governor Vajubhai Vala administering the oath of office and secrecy.

Ahead of the swearing in, Siddaramaiah recommended sacking of 14 ministers which the Governor accepted.

Tanveer Sait, Kagodu Thimmappa, Ramesh Kumar, Basavaraj Raya Reddy, H Y Meti, S S Mallikarjun, M R Seetharam, Santosh Lad and Ramesh Jarkiholi were inducted as cabinet rank ministers.

Priyank Kharge, Rudrappa Lamani, Eshwar Khandre and Pramod Madhwaraj were sworn in as Ministers of State.

Thimmappa and Ramesh Kumar are former Assembly Speakers, while Kharge is the son of Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

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The ministers who faced the axe are: Qamarul Islam, Shamanoor Shivashankarappa, V Srinivasa Prasad, M H Ambareesh, Vinay Kumar Sorake, Satish Jarkiholi, Baburao Chinchansoor, Shivaraj Sangappa Tangadagi, S R Patil, Manohar Tahasildhar, K Abayachandra Jain, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Kimmane Ratnakar, P T Parameshwar Naik.

Ministers who were seen as non-performers or were hit by some controversy or the other were shown the door, according to party sources, which also said the exercise was to inject “more dynamic members” into the ministry.

The Chief Minister has embarked upon the exercise more than three years after assuming office on May 13, 2013.

Siddaramaiah received the green signal from Congress High Command yesterday after intense confabulations with party President Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi, who authorised him to carry out the rejig.

In the reshuffle, the Chief Minister has tried to balance equations of caste and region.

The exercise is coming in order to put the party on a sound footing two years before the Assembly elections in Karnataka, which is the only major state where Congress is ruling after being recently ejected out of power in Kerala and Assam.

With the reshuffle, the ministry has a strength of 33, one less than the constitutional limit.

Ambareesh, Srinivasa Prasad and Islam made no secret of their displeasure over being dropped.

Cine-actor turned politician Ambareesh’s supporters blocked the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway in Mandya district, while Islam’s followers went on a rampage at Kalaburgi, pelting stones and resorting to road blockade.

A bus was also set on fire near Saradagi in Kalaburgi district during a protest allegedly by supporters of Mallikayya Guttedar over he being denied a ministerial berth.

Several Congress MLAs from Bengaluru were also unhappy over being excluded from the ministry, with S T Somashekar claiming that eight legislators were contemplating resigning their Assembly membership in protest.

“We will resign 100 per cent,” he said, questioning a “first timer like Kharge” being made a minister while neglecting their claims.

However, Siddaramaih maintained that there was no dissent among party members.

“No dissidence in the party. Totally, there is no dissidence in the party,” he told reporters after the post-swearing in customary meeting of the council of
ministers.

Siddaramaiah is performing the surgery and undertaking reshuffle more than three years after assuming office on may 13, 2013 and after deferring it for reasons ranging from drought to elections to local bodies, Legislative Council and Rajya Sabha.

In the reshuffle, Siddarmaiah has tried to balance caste and region factors and blend experience and young blood. Facing an aggressive BJP, the exercise is coming in order to put the party on a sound footing two years before the Assembly elections in Karnataka, the only major state where the Congress is ruling after being ejected out of power in Kerala and Assam in the recent polls.

Ambareesh, Srinivasa Prasad and Islam made no secret of their displeasure over being dropped.

Cine-actor turned politician Ambareesh’s supporters blocked the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway in Mandya district, while Islam’s followers went on a rampage at Kalaburgi, pelting stones and resorting to road blockade.

A bus was also set on fire near Saradagi in Kalaburgi district during a protest allegedly by supporters of Mallikayya Guttedar over he being denied a ministerial berth.

Several Congress MLAs from Bengaluru were also unhappy over being excluded from the ministry, with S T Somashekar claiming that eight legislators were contemplating resigning their Assembly membership in protest.

“We will resign 100 per cent,” he said, questioning a “first timer like Kharge” being made a minister while neglecting their claims.

However, Siddaramaih maintained that there was no dissent among party members.

“No dissidence in the party. Totally, there is no dissidence in the party,” he told reporters after the post-swearing in customary meeting of the council of
ministers.

Siddaramaiah is performing the surgery and undertaking reshuffle more than three years after assuming office on may 13, 2013 and after deferring it for reasons ranging from drought to elections to local bodies, Legislative Council and Rajya Sabha.

In the reshuffle, Siddarmaiah has tried to balance caste and region factors and blend experience and young blood. Facing an aggressive BJP, the exercise is coming in order to put the party on a sound footing two years before the Assembly elections in Karnataka, the only major state where the Congress is ruling after being ejected out of power in Kerala and Assam in the recent polls.

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