Seven new Ministers inducted into B.S. Yediyurappa Cabinet in Karnataka

Published : January 13, 2021 18:56 IST

New Cabinet Ministers (from left) C. P. Yogeshwar, R. Shankar, Umesh Katti, N. Nagaraj, Aravind Limbavali, Murugesh R. Nirani and S. Angara at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru on January 13. Photo: MURALI KUMAR K

The long-pending Cabinet expansion in Karnataka that was considerably delayed finally took place today at 3:50 p.m. at Raj Bhavan when Governor Vajubhai Vala supervised the oath-taking ceremony. Seven ministers were sworn in at the event of which four are Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and three are Members of the Legislative Council (MLCs). Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa got the go-ahead for the Cabinet expansion after a meeting on January 10 with Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) central leadership, including party president J. P Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah. Yediyurappa was keen on the Cabinet expansion since elections took place to the Karnataka Legislative Council in June last year, but the move was kept in abeyance by the BJP high command.

The four MLAs who were sworn in as Ministers are BJP strongman from Belagavi district Umesh Katti (representing Hukkeri Assembly constituency), sugar baron Murugesh R. Nirani (representing Bilgi Assembly constituency in Bagalkot district), Aravind Limbavali (representing Mahadevapura Assembly constituency in Bengaluru) and S. Angara (representing Sullia in Dakshina Kannada district). Two of the three MLCs—N. Nagaraj (MTB) and R. Shankar—who were sworn in today had crossed over to the BJP in 2019 as part of the group of 17 MLAs who pulled out of the Indian National Congress-Janata Dal coalition government, leading to the BJP coming to power. The third MLC, C. P. Yogeshwar, was crucial in the talks that led to the rebel MLAs crossing over to the BJP.

With this expansion, Yediyurappa has fulfilled his promise that he had made to the rebels that they would be compensated with ministerial berths although the choice of three MLCs being made Ministers has led to reservations among BJP MLAs about privileging indirectly elected representatives in the ministerial choice. Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, BJP MLA from Vijayapura City and Yediyurappa’s bete noire, alleged that there was massive corruption in the ministerial appointments. He stated, “Those who blackmail and give money are chosen as Ministers. There is a quota for this.”

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