In the first expansion of the Karnataka Cabinet under Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, ministers from the Congress and JD(S), which are in alliance in the state, took oath on Wednesday afternoon. One BSP MLA, N Mahesh, also took the oath — he became the first representative of the party to be given a berth outside Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress, which struggled to finalise names on Tuesday, has picked ministers keeping in mind caste equations and regional considerations. The JDS, meanwhile, has chosen ministers on the basis of seniority.
H D Revanna, son of former prime minister and JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda and state senior Congress leaders D K Shivakumar were among those who took the oath. JDS’ G T Deve Gowda, who had emerged as a giant killer defeating former chief minister Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru in the assembly polls was also inducted. Congress MLC Jayamala was the lone woman minister.
Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP)’s Jayamala Shankar was given a berth. BSP MLA N Mahesh has been allotted one from JD(S)’s quota.
With today’s expansion, the strength of the ministry has gone up to 27, leaving seven more vacancies to be filled.
The May 12 Assembly elections have thrown up a fractured verdict, with the Congress winning 77 seats and the JD(S) 37. The BJP had emerged as the single-largest party with 104 seats. After forming a post-poll alliance, the Congress has been assigned 22 berths and JD(S) 12.