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Kumaraswamy Cabinet to be expanded on Dec 22

Bengaluru

H D Kumaraswamy’s Cabinet will be expanded on December 22, soon after the winter session in Belagavi ends, said former chief minister and coalition coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah. Soon after the meeting at the Kumara Krupa guest house, Siddaramaiah said the coalition partners had also decided to make appointments to 30 boards and corporations.

While 20 posts will be accorded to Congress MLAs, 10 JD(S) MLAs will be given the remaining 10 posts. The chairpersons to the boards and corporations will be named in phases Siddaramaiah said his party had decided to fill all six vacancies in the 34- member Cabinet. He said the names will be finalised after consultations with party chief Rahul Gandhi.

The meeting, which was attended by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, AICC General Secretary and Karnataka in-charge K C Venugopal, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and JD(S) leader and committee convenor Danish Ali, is taking place after a gap of three months, amid fears of yet another attempt by the BJP to destabilise the coalition government. Siddaramaiah also said the leaders had taken a decision to appoint six parliamentary secretaries.

Conceding that there has been disgruntlement among aspirants vying for Cabinet berths, Siddaramaiah, however, said none of his MLAs would quit the party. “Nobody will resign. No MLA, including Satish Jarkiholi, will quit the Congress. Also, just because his brother Ramesh Jarkiholi hasn’t been attending the Cabinet meetings, it doesn’t mean that he too will quit.” “Both Congress and JD(S) parties are intact.

The BJP leaders are daydreaming. Because they were successful once, they are under the impression that Operation Lotus will be a success again,” he added. On Union Minister Prakash Javadekar’s “political earthquake” in Karnataka remarks, both Siddaramaiah and Ali said that the BJP will be part of a political earthquake once results to the Assembly elections being held in five states are announced. Siddaramaiah also said that complaints by Congress MLAs that they are being sidelined by JD(S) leaders, especially by PWD Minister H D Revanna, too were discussed.

He said all their grievances will be addressed shortly. The Congress legislature party meeting, which was scheduled to be held on December 8, has been postponed. The CLP meeting will be held in Belagavi. Kumaraswamy too told reporters that there were differences of opinion between the JD(S) and the Congress leaders. He said that he had informed Rahul about the date of the Cabinet expansion (over the phone) and that the Congress leader had given his consent.

No sooner did Siddaramaiah announce the date of the Cabinet expansion, than there were murmurs in the JD(S) camp that JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda or his son Revanna will not give a green signal for the expansion on December 22, as the day falls on the inauspicious “dhanur masa” period (December 15 to January 14). Speculations were rife that the expansion will take place only after Sankranti.

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