Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala will administer the oath of office and secrecy to new members joining the state council of ministers at 1 pm at the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru
Bengaluru: The much-awaited expansion of the H D Kumaraswamy-led cabinet in Karnataka, aimed at saving the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, will take place in a short while, with the induction of two new ministers expected, official sources said.
Governor Vajubhai Vala will administer the oath of office and secrecy to new members joining the state council of ministers at 1 pm at the Raj Bhavan.
Of the total of 34 ministerial positions in Karnataka, Congress and JD(S) have shared 22 and 12 respectively according to the coalition arrangement.
Currently, three posts are vacant, two from the JD(S) and one from the Congress.
"Only two new ministers will be inducted into the Cabinet tomorrow. One post will be kept vacant," official sources said.
Independent MLA Nagesh and lone Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) MLA R Shankar, who are supporting the coalition, would be sworn-in on Friday, from JD(S) and Congress's share respectively, to ensure that they don't side with the BJP, sources added.
Shankar had served as minister during the initial days of the Kumaraswamy government.
The KPJP MLA was dropped from the Cabinet during the reshuffle in December last year, following which he, along with Nagesh, sided with the BJP and had written to the Governor withdrawing support to the government.
As the BJP failed in its alleged attempts to topple the coalition and form the government, the two legislators subsequently moved closer to the coalition party.
There are voices in the coalition party, especially the Congress, against the induction of independents into the Cabinet, raising questions about their loyalty, as also about those loyal to the party not being considered.
Senior Congress leader and former Assembly Speaker KB Koliwad, who was defeated by Shankar in Ranebennuru, expressed reservations about his induction, calling him an "opportunist".
According to reports, Shankar is likely to join the Congress on becoming minister.
Though the names of JD(S) state president and MLA AH Vishwanath and MLC BM Farooq were doing the rounds for the third post, the regional party's leadership is said to have decided to keep it vacant for now.
The expansion, originally scheduled for June 12, was rescheduled to Friday as a three-day state mourning was in place due to the death of Jnanpith awardee writer Girish Karnad on Monday.
Defeat in the Lok Sabha polls along with growing disgruntlement within, the coalition leaders, after a series of negotiations had decided to go in for Cabinet expansion by filling in two of the three vacant posts.
According to sources, a Cabinet reshuffle is also on the cards, during which a few ministers will be asked to step down to make way for others, mainly the disgruntled legislators.
However, an increasing number of aspirants in the Congress is worrying the coalition leaders, as it may once again lead to disgruntlement and cause disturbance for the smooth functioning of the alliance government.
The coalition leaders fear onslaught by the BJP to destabilise the government, after the saffron party won 25 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state, leaving Congress and JD(S)to share one seat each.
A BJP supported independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh had won in Mandya.
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Last Updated 14, Jun 2019, 12:51 PM