Karnataka Cabinet Expansion: All 10 ministers are 'rebels' from Cong, JD(S)
Bengaluru, Feb 06: The seven-month-old B S Yediyurappa (BSY)-led Bharatiya Janata Party government expanded its cabinet on Thursday with at least ten rebel MLAs taking oath as ministers.
The swearing-in ceremony that took place at 10.30 am at the Raj Bhavan witnessed the oath-taking by rebel leaders Ramesh Jarkhiholi, Anand Singh, BC Patil, K Sudhakar, Narayana Gowda, ST Somasekhar, Bhairati Basavaraj, Gopalaiah, Shivaram Hebbar and Sreemanth Patil.
"As per directions from party president and leaders, only 10 members will take oath on Thursday. I will meet our leaders in Delhi and we will then take the decision to include others in the cabinet." chief minister Yediyurappa told reporters.
Umesh Katti, an influential MLA, will be later inducted into the cabinet and given a ministerial berth.
"There is no doubt about Umesh Kattis inclusion in the cabinet, he will be given a ministerial berth but it is difficult to induct him into the cabinet in this expansion. I will speak to him, he will be given a big responsibility," he said.
Athani MLA Mahesh Kumathalli won the bypolls from Athani constituency is unlikely to be inducted.
Two of the 'rebel' MLAs who lost the bypolls, A H Vishwanath and M T B Nagraju, have been demanding a cabinet berth for their sacrifices in ensuring a BJP government in the state.
The revolt by the rebels led to the collapse of the Congress-JDS coalition in July last year, paving the way for the formation of the Yediyurappa government.
At present, there are 18 ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the cabinet that has a sanctioned strength of 34. Sixteen berths are vacant.