Jagadish Shettar was sworn in as Karnataka Chief Minister on Thursday along with a team of 33 Ministers that included Deputy Chief Ministers K.S. Eshwarappa and R. Ashok.
But trouble has started for the new government as dissidence has broken out in the Bharatiya Janata Party with some MLAs who failed to make it to the Ministry threatening to quit.
Mr. Shettar, 56, is the 21st Chief Minister of the State and third to head the BJP government that came to power in 2008. The Lingayat leader from north Karnataka will have a short tenure of about 10 months if the Assembly runs its term till May 2013.
While the 21 Ministers who were part of the previous dispensation have been included in the new government, 12 new Ministers have been added. With this, the Ministry has 34 members, including the Chief Minister — the maximum permissible given the Assembly’s numbers.
A first; two of a kind
This is the first time since the formation of the BJP government that all the ministerial berths have been filled.
This is also the first time that the State has got two Deputy Chief Ministers. Five previous governments had one Deputy Chief Minister each.
The members of the Shettar Ministry, besides Mr. Eshwarappa and Mr. Ashok, are Govind Karjol, Umesh Katti, C.M. Udasi, S. Suresh Kumar, Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri, Shobha Karandlaje, Murugesh Nirani, B.N. Bache Gowda, C.P. Yogeshwar, V. Somanna, M.P. Renukacharya, S.A. Ravindranath, S.A. Ramdas, Balachandra Jarkiholi, Anand Asnotikar, A. Narayanaswamy, Revu Naik Belamagi, Varthur Prakash, Raju Gowda (all Ministers in the earlier dispensation); S.K. Bellubbi, C.T. Ravi, D.N. Jeevaraj, Sogadu Shivanna, Arvind Limbavali, B.J. Puttaswamy, Appachu Ranjan, Anand Singh, Kalakappa Bandi, Kota Srinivas Poojary and Sunil Valyapure.
With rival camps in the BJP bargaining hard for ministerial berths as well as portfolios, State party leaders were summoned by the central leaders to Delhi where the ministerial list was finalised by Wednesday midnight.
Mr. Shettar, Mr. Eshwarappa and Ananth Kumar returned to Bangalore from Delhi only on Thursday morning.
The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Glass House in Raj Bhavan. None of the Opposition leaders, barring Congress leader Malikayya Guttedar, attended the programme. Even the BJP’s central leaders stayed away.
The ceremony was attended by D.V. Sadananda Gowda, who quit to make way for Mr. Shettar, and his predecessor B S. Yeddyurappa, besides Mr. Ananth Kumar.