Karnataka Cabinet reshuffle sparks protests, violence

Nine Ministers of Cabinet rank and four Ministers of State were sworn in by Governor Vajubhai Vala.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s much anticipated Cabinet reshuffle and induction of 13 new Ministers was followed by protests, resulting in sporadic violence and traffic disruption in arterial roads, by disgruntled Congress workers and leaders.

While the reshuffle was aimed at dropping “non-performing” Ministers, supporters of dropped ones such as V. Srinivas Prasad, M.H. Ambareesh, Shivaraj Tangadagi took to the streets in protest, in different parts of the State, and in some cases even indulged in violence. Lashing out at Mr. Siddaramaiah, Mr. Prasad said in Mysuru that the former had kept him in the dark on his decision.

Severe traffic disruptions were witnessed on the arterial Bengaluru-Mysuru highway as supporters of Vijayanagar (Bengaluru) MLA, M. Krishnappa, who was expected to be given a berth but was not, threw stones and blocked the road in the constituency. Mr. Ambareesh's loyalists blocked the highway near Mandya.

Supporters of Rajashekar Patil, MLA, called for a bandh at Humnabad in Bidar district. They took out a motorcycle rally in the town and forced shopkeeper to down the shutters. Supporters of other ministerial aspirants such as Mallikayya Guttedar and Deputy Speaker Shivashankara Reddy damaged vehicles, including government buses, in Kalaburagi and Gauribidanur, respectively.

In the midst of the protests, nine Ministers of Cabinet rank and four of Minister of State were sworn-in at Raj Bhavan, with Governor Vajubhai Vala administering the oaths of office and secrecy. In all, 14 Ministers were dropped.

Two former Speakers — Kagodu Thimmappa and K.R. Ramesh Kumar — and senior leaders Tanveer Sait, Basavaraj Rayaraddi, and H.Y. Meti were among those inducted in the Cabinet.

Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, M. Mallikarjun Kharge’s son, Priyank Kharge, has been inducted in the Cabinet.

The exercise, aimed at resurrecting the party’s image a little over three years after it came to power in the State, was preceded by intense lobbying by a section in the party and differences among senior Congress leaders from the State and Mr. Siddaramaiah.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 1:02:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Karnataka-Cabinet-reshuffle-sparks-protests-violence/article14433845.ece

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