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Karnataka Cabinet expansion: Seven new ministers take oath

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Bengaluru, Jan 13: The 17-month-old cabinet in Karnataka was expanded on Wednesday with the induction of seven new ministers. Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to the ministers at a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan. The new ministers are MLAs Umesh Katti, S Angara, Murugesh Nirani and Arvind Limbavali, and MLCs R Shankar, MTB Nagaraj and CP Yogeshwar.

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However, the ruling party legislators have expressed serious reservations about MLCs not elected by the people being made Ministers, lack of representation to certain regions, with most Ministers still from Bengaluru and Belagavi districts and also on their "seniority or sacrifice" not being considered.

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Yediyurappa earlier in the day announced that MLAs Umesh Katti, Arvind Limbavali, Murugesh Nirani, CP Yogeshwar, S Angara, and MLCs MTB Nagaraj and R Shankar will be sworn-in as Ministers, following which several BJP MLAs, who were aspirants, expressed their serious discontent.

Vijayapura City MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal,who has been critical of Yediyurappa, accused the Chief Minister of making appointments under blackmail, without considering seniority or honesty.

Alleging that the CM and his family have 'hijacked' the BJP in Karnataka, he also requested the PM to end dynastic politics from Yediyurappa's family in the state. "CM is making those who are blackmailing him Ministers. Three people- one political secretary and two Ministers have been blackmailing with some of Yediyurappa's CDs for three months.

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One who will become Minister today, along with CD blackmail, was also involved in payment of money to Vijayendra (CM's son)," the former union minister said. Speaking to reporters in Vijayapura, Yatnal, who had stated that he did not want to become Minister under Yediyurappa, claimed three people who are blackmailing the CM had met him four months ago with a plan to depose Yediyurappa.

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    "I challenge you (Yediyurappa) ahead of Makara Sankranti that from Uttarayana your (political) end will begin and a new period will start under PM Modi in Karnataka," he said, as he demanded Yediyurappa's resignation following High Court dismissing his petition seeking quashing of FIRs against him in an illegal land denotification case.

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