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Karnataka Cabinet to be expanded

Bengaluru, June 1: Congress, the major partner in the coalition with JD-S in Karnataka, will have 21 more ministers while the party led by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy will get 11 more and all of them will be sworn in June 6 in the first expansion of the Cabinet. While the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) will keep the Finance portfolio, the Congress will get Home among other departments. The alliance partners also decided to set up a coalition coordination and monitoring committee, which will meet once in a month. “The Governor (Vajubhia Vala) has fixed 2 p.m. on Wednesday for the swearing-in of all the 32 cabinet ministers. The venue for the oath-ceremony will be decided soon,” Kumaraswamy told reporters here. As Vala will be in New Delhi to attend the all-India Governors’ Conference at Rashtrapathi Bhavan from June 3-5, he advised the Chief Minister on Friday to expand the Cabinet on June 6 afternoon when he will be here.

The alliance partners have decided on the portfolios to be shared and the names of the 32 legislators to be made ministers will be announced before June 6. “As agreed by the leaders of the respective parties, the Congress will have 22 ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, and JD-S 12 ministers, including the Chief Minister in the 34-member ministry,” Venugopal said. Congress President Rahul Gandhi and JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda have approved the sharing of the portfolios.

The Congress, with 78 legislators, got Home, Irrigation, Bengaluru Development, Industries, Health, Revenue/Muzrai, Urban Development, Rural Development, Agriculture, Medical Education, Housing, Labour, Women & Child Welfare, Forest & Environment, Mines & Geology, Social Welfare, Food & Civil Supplies, Law & Parliamentary Affairs, IT, BT and Science & Technology, Kannada Culture, Sports & Youth Affairs, Haj & Wakf and Minority Affairs, and Ports & Inland Transport Development departments. The JD-S, which has 36 legislators, will have Finance & Excise, Information, Intelligence, General Administration, Planning & Statistics, Public Works Department (PWD), Power, Cooperation, Tourism, General Education, Animal Husbandary & Fisheries, Horticulture & Sericulture, Small-Scale Industries, Transport and Minor Irrigation. “Siddramaiah will be the chairman of the committee and Ali its convener. The committee will clear all appointments to statutory boards and corporations. Two-thirds of the posts in the boards and corporations will be headed by Congress members and one-third of posts by JD-S members,” said Venugopal. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita