Party high command clears expansion; list is ready, says Siddaramaiah

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said here on Friday that 29 ministers would be inducted into his Cabinet in Bangalore on Saturday. The swearing-in ceremony would be held at 10.30 a.m.

Speaking to presspersons at the airport here, Mr. Siddaramaiah, who visited the city for the first time after taking over as Chief Minister, said the party high command had given its nod for Saturday's Cabinet expansion. “The list of ministers is ready.”

Replying to a question on whether MLAs facing charges would be inducted into the Cabinet, Mr. Siddaramaiah, who arrived here in a special aircraft from New Delhi after meeting top Congress leaders in connection with the Ministry formation, said: “There are no such persons in the party. I think this issue is debated only in the media but not at the party level.”

Asked if such persons would make it to the Cabinet, Mr. Siddaramaiah evaded a direct reply but said the party high command had finalised the list of ministers after taking note of all aspects.

To a question on whether Kanakapura MLA D.K. Shivakumar will be made a Minister, Mr Siddaramaiah replied: “Wait till tomorrow.”

Mr. Siddaramaiah arrived here around 3.45 p.m. by a special aircraft. He was accompanied by the former Minister and Gundlupet MLA H.S. Mahadeva Prasad, the former Minister H.M. Revanna and others.

Leaders from the local party units and hundreds of supporters thronged the airport to receive Mr. Siddaramaiah, who came here to pay last respects to his close friend Ramanna, who passed away here on Friday.

Regional Commissioner M.V. Jayanthi, Deputy Commissioner C. Shikha and Police Commissioner K.L. Sudheer were present.

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