Karnataka CM to expand ministry 'shortly'

DV Sadananda Gowda
Bangalore, Feb 16: Burdened with as many as 16 portfolios, Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Thursday said he proposed to expand his ministry 'shortly' and would seek the party central leadership's nod for the exercise.

"In a couple of days I would start consultation with senior leaders and also the party high command seeking permission to expand the ministry", Gowda told reporters here. "It is my personal thinking (on ministry expansion plan)" Gowda, however, hastended to add.

Gowda admitted that he was facing 'tremendous' work pressure and wanted to lighten the burden by inducting experienced ministers and also newcomers.

With the death of higher education minister V S Acharya on Tuesday and the resignation of three ministers over the porn scandal, there are eleven ministerial berths vacant in the state as against the permitted strength of 34.

Gowda disagreed with the decision of Congress and JDS decision to boycott the House Committee being set up to probe into the porn clips viewing by three former ministers and requested them to participate in the committee and express their opinions.

He said procedures required to be followed for appointing a new lokayukta were being adhered to by him and asserted "I need not go by what opposition says. As Chief Minister I know my duty".

Opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah had suggested convening a meeting of floor leaders and others to elicit opinion on the choice of new head for Lokayukta.


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