Karnataka Cabinet expansion: Cong accommodates 6 Lingayat, 4 Vokkaligas, Shettar, Savadi miss out

Bengaluru: The Congress government in Karnataka completed the process of cabinet expansion, finalising the names for 24 cabinet berths on Friday.

However, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who jumped ship to join the Congress from the BJP and helped to tilt Lingayat vote bank, have missed out on ministerial berths.

The list has been sent to the Raj Bhavan and the swearing-in ceremony is slated on Saturday morning.

As per an official release from the CM’s office, senior Congress leader from Gadag district H.K. Patil from Namdhari Reddy community, Krishna Byre Gowda representing Hebbal seat in Bengaluru, N. Cheluvarayaswamy from Mandya district, K. Venkatesh from Mysuru district and Dr M.C. Sudhakar from Chikkaballapura district, all hailing from Vokkaliga community have been accommodated.

Senior Congress leader Eshwar Khandre from Bidar, Sharanabasappa Darshanapur from Yadgir, Shivanand Patil from Vijayapura, S.S. Mallikarjun from Davanagere, and Laxmi Hebbalkar from Belagavi, all from Lingayat community, have been named as ministers.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’ right-hand man Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa from Mysuru district, R. B. Thimmapur from Bagalkot district, and Shivaraj Tangadagi from Koppal district, all from Scheduled Caste community, will also be inducted as ministers.

K.N. Rajanna from Tumakuru district and a staunch follower of Siddaramaiah and B. Nagendra from Bellary district, both hailing from Scheduled Tribe, are also included.

6-time MLA and former state chief Dinesh Gundu Rao representing Gandhinagar seat in Bengaluru has been given a cabinet berth too. He belongs to the Brahmin community.

Mankal Vaidya, belonging to Mogaveera community, from Uttara Kannada district has been preferred over veteran Congress leader R.V. Deshapande from the region.

Rahim Khan, a senior Congressman from Bidar representing Muslim community is part of the cabinet. D. Sudhakar, representing the Jain community from Chitradurga, has been given cabinet post over three-time MLA Raghu Murthy belonging to ST community.

Santhosh Lad from Dharwad, belonging to Maratha community, N.S. Bosaraju from Raichur, belonging to Raju BC community, and Bhyrathi Suresh, a close confidante of Siddaramaiah from Kuruba community, will also be ministers.

The party has accommodated Madhu Bangarappa from Shivamogga in the view of making the roots of the party strong in the home turf of former CM B.S. Yediyurappa. Bangarappa belongs to the Ediga OBC community.

Going by the list, CM Siddaramaiah had gained upper hand over his deputy D.K. Shivakumar. Six Lingayats, four Vokkaligas, five OBCs, three SCs, two STs, one each from Brahmin, Muslim, Jain and Reddy community have got the cabinet berths in the second list.

All sub-castes of Lingayat community have been taken into consideration and given eight cabinet berths. Vokkaligas have got five representations including the Deputy CM’s post. Dalits got nine cabinet berths and left and right sub-groups have been given equal representation.

Three from the ST community have been allotted cabinet posts. Smaller communities like Raju Kshatriya (Boseraju), and fishermen (Mankala Vaidya) have been represented.

Only one berth has been given to Kuruba community (Suresh) as CM Siddaramaiah hails from the community. Muslim community is represented by two ministers (B.Z. Zameer Ahmad Khan, Rahim Khan) while U.T. Khader has been made the Speaker – the first Muslim to become the Speaker of the state Assembly. One berth has been given to Christians (K.J. George) and Jain communities (D. Sudhakar).

Siddaramaiah and the Congress have tried to balance region-wise and community base with an equal and judicious distribution of power. North Karnataka, including Kittur and Kalyan Karnataka regions, central region of the state and Mysuru regions have also been given proper representation.

Besides Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar, eight more ministers — G. Parmeshwara, K.H. Muniyappa, K.J. George, M.B. Patil, Satish Jarkiholi, Priyank Kharge, Ramalimga Reddy, and Ahmed Khan — had taken oath last Saturday in Bengaluru. However, none of them have been allocated any portfolio yet.


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