14 ministers dropped ahead of cabinet reshuffle in Karnataka

14 ministers dropped ahead of cabinet reshuffle in Karnataka
14 ministers dropped ahead of cabinet reshuffle in Karnataka

20 June, 2016

The Cabinet reshuffle has upset the second largest community - the Vokkaligas (13 per cent of the population) - in Karnataka, as Siddaramaiah sacked film star-turned-politician MH Ambarish and Kimmane Ratnakara (well-known Vokkaliga leaders), and did not appoint anyone in their places.

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath to newly-inducted members at the lawns of Raj Bhavan.

The members who sworn in as minster of state are Priyanka Kharge (Chittapur), Eshwara Khandre (Bhalki), Pramod Madhwaraj (Udupi) and Rudrappa Lavani (Haveri).

Siddaramaiah had recently met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi to convince her about his decision to drop non-performing Ministers and to seek a free hand to perform a long-pending surgery of his Cabinet. The chief minister may also reshuffle the portfolios, most likely on Monday.

The Congress president is also believed to have consulted Mr Kharge before agreeing to the chief minister's proposal. There are reports that at least 13 ministers in the current cabinet have been asked to submit their resignations.

Many Congress leaders have alleged that Kharge arm-twisted Sidddaramaiah into inducting his son into the Cabinet.

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In a related development, supporters of Congress lawmaker Mallikayya Guttedar of Afzalpur in Kalburgi district set a state-run bus on fire to protest against denial of a ministerial berth for him despite assurances.

Mr Siddaramaiah's victory came after his plan was backed by both the old guard that's party senior leader Ahmed Patel and AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka Digvijay Singh as well as the new, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

The exit of Qamarul Islam has been offset by the introduction of the more youthful Tanveer Sait and keeps the number of Muslim ministers in the Siddaramaiah cabinet at three.

Interestingly, Mallikarjun will replace his father Shivashankarappa from Davangere, while Ramesh will replace his brother Sathish from Belagavi district in the council of ministers.

Siddaramaiah and state unit chief G. Parameshwara are hoping the revamp will restore the party's image, tainted by drought crisis, farmers' suicides and a spate of controversies. Signalling that some ministers would have to take up party responsibility, he had said that the cabinet reshuffle would be done keeping the next Assembly elections in mind.

Siddaramaiah had his way with his secret list of changes which was earlier rejected by the party high command. Find us on Facebook too!

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