Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is expected to induct one more Minister ahead of the coming legislature session, the first of the 14th Assembly, to comply with the rule of the Legislative Council that only a member of that House can be nominated as the leader of the ruling party in the Council. Sources in the Congress told The Hindu that the Chief Minister, during his visit to New Delhi on Thursday, obtained the approval of the party high command to induct a member of the Council, in all likelihood S.R. Patil who had functioned as the Leader of the Opposition during the term of the Bharatiya Janata Party Government, in the Ministry.

The expansion of the Ministry is expected to take place any day before June 3 when Governor H.R. Bhardwaj will address a joint session of the legislature.

The Governor addressed a joint session on February 4, when the penultimate session of the previous Assembly was held.

It is said that the Chief Minister will be inducting only one more legislator as a Minister. There are at least three other contenders for inclusion in the Ministry —C. Motamma, Veeranna Mathikatti and M.R. Seetharam (all members of the Council).

With the induction of one more Minister, the strength of the Council of Ministers will increase to 30 (including the Chief Minister) and there will still be four vacancies.

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