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Karnataka Cabinet Expansion postponed to June 14

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Bengaluru, June 10: The expansion of the HD Kumaraswamy-led Cabinet in which three more ministers are likely to be inducted has been postponed by two days to June 14 in the wake of passing away of veteran actor and theater personality Girish Karnad.

Karnad died on Monday at his Bengaluru residence at the age of 81. He was a noted scholar, theatre personality, an actor and director with a vibrant career spanning over five decades.

HD Kumaraswamy

In a bid to dousing growing discontent within the Congress-JD (S) coalition in Karnataka, Karataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had on June 8 said he will expand his cabinet on June 12. Kumaraswamy wanted to fill three existing Cabinet vacancies.

The CM's reportedly wanted to induct Ranebennur MLA R Shankar of Karnataka Pragnavantha Janatha Party and independent MLA H Nagesh from Mulbagal into the Cabinet. The remaining one would go to the coalition partner, the Congress.

[Girish Karnad: A cultural icon who championed the idea of India]

The cabinet expansion is being seen as a way to contain the rebellion that erupted, especially in the Congress, after the Lok Sabha poll debacle, with several senior leaders openly castigating the state leadership.

Of the total 34 ministerial positions in Karnataka, the Congress and the JD(S) have shared 22 and 12 respectively under an understanding between the two parties. Currently, three posts are vacant, two from JD(S) and one from the Congress.

[Karnataka cabinet expansion on June 12, Ramalinga Reddy to be in]

The BJP swept the polls, capturing 25 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka. Independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh, backed by the BJP, won the Mandya seat, defeating Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil in one of the most bitterly fought contests. The Lok Sabha rout gave enough ammunition to the disgruntled lot in the Congress as well as the JD(S) to publicly target their state leaders.

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