The new ministers inducted in the Karnataka cabinet after its second round of expansion cum reshuffle have now been allocated portfolios and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has had the last laugh.
Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara has had to part with the much coveted Home portfolio and it has gone to Siddaramaiah loyalist MB Patil. According to sources, Parameshwara was very reluctant to give up the Home department and only did so after a nudge from Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
In return, he will continue being in charge of the cash rich Bengaluru development authority and will add IT-BT and law and parliamentary affairs to his kitty.
The list of portfolios was cleared by Gandhi and sent to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy by KC Venugopal, AICC general secretary and Karnataka-in charge. Eight Congress ministers were inducted into the Kumaraswamy cabinet last week.
Venugopal, who was in Bengaluru this week to discuss and finalise portfolios, is said to have faced resistance from G Parameshwara for being asked to part with Home and siding with Siddaramaiah.
The deputy CM had reportedly left the meeting midway and asked CLP leader Siddaramaiah and others to “take a call”, after expressing reluctance to give up any of his portfolios. He contended he had worked to get the deputy CM’s post and the portfolios to suit the stature.
Even during the cabinet expansion, Siddaramaiah is said to have had his way as several of his loyalists made their way into the cabinet this time.
Both Parameshwara and Siddaramaiah have denied any disagreement. “I had no problem in letting go of the portfolios for the newly inducted cabinet ministers. This formula will apply to all senior ministers. I will abide by the decision of AICC president Rahul Gandhi,” Parameshwara said.
Other senior ministers have also had to give up some ministries to accommodate the new members of the cabinet. Medical education, which was under DK Shivakumar, has been given to E Tukaram, and Shivakumar will take charge of Kannada and Culture from Jayamala. He will also add Information and Public Relations to his portfolio.
Satish Jarakiholi, a newly inducted minister, has been given forest, which was with independent MLA R Shankar before he was dropped from the cabinet last week. MLA Ramesh Jarakiholi’s municipal administration portfolio is now with CS Shivalli, who was also inducted in the cabinet during the latest expansion.