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Karnataka coalition ministry expanded

Bengaluru, June 6: The JD-S-Congress coalition government in Karnataka was expanded on Wednesday, with the induction of 25 legislators as cabinet ministers including 23 from the alliance partners and one BSP MLA and an Independent. Of the 23 from the alliance, 14 are from Congress and 9 from Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S). Governor Vajubhai R. Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to the ministers at Raj Bhavan.

Yesteryears Kannada cine actress and legislative council member Jayamala of the Congress is the lone woman minister in the 27-member ministry. N. Mahesh of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was also sworn in. The BSP is a pre-poll ally of the JD-S. With him, BSP has a minister for the first time in south India and outside its home state Uttar Pradesh. Independent R. Shankar, who supported the alliance, was also inducted as cabinet minister. Leaving the Congress for denying a ticket to contest in the May 12 assembly election, Shankar defeated former Congress legislator K.B. Koliwad from Ranebennur in Haveri district. Besides Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy of the JD-S and Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara of the Congress, senior leaders and several legislators of both the alliance partners and senior officials were present at the hour-long ceremony. The 14 ministers of the Congress and nine of the JD-S took oath in Kannada and in the name of either god, Allah, 14th century Kannadiga social reformer Basavanna and parents.

The Congress ministers were R.V. Deshpande, D.K. Shivakumar, K.J. George, Krishna Byre Gowda, Shiva Shankar Reddy, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Priyank Kharge, U.T. Abdul Khader, Zameer Ahmed Khan, Shivanand Patil, Venkat Ramanappa, Rajasekhar Basavaraj Patil, Puttaranga Shetty and Jayamala. The JD-S ministers are H.D. Revanna, Bandeppa Kashempur, G.T. Deve Gowda, D.C. Thammanna, M.C. Managuli, S.R. Srinivas, Venkatrao Nadegouda, C.S. Puttaraju and S.R. Mahesh. The state can have a 34-member cabinet, or 15 per cent of the 225-member legislative assembly, including one nominated, as per Constitutional norms. (IANS)