Karnataka Cabinet: Team Bommai emerges as new Ministers take oath of office

The new Cabinet of Karnataka under Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai that took shape on August 4, 2021.   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

After intense political maneuvering for two days, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai expanded his ministry on August 4 by inducting 29 members. This is the highest number of candidates being sworn in as ministers in one go in the recent past.

They were administered the oath of office by Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot at a swearing-in ceremony held in the Glass House of Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru.

The highlight of the new ministerial team is the end to the recent practice of appointing deputy chief ministers. Though there was a proposal to appoint three to four deputy chief ministers, such a plan is learnt to have been shelved by the party high command as too many senior leaders had thrown their hats in the ring. The party high command was reportedly of the view that such intense lobbying would give a different dimension to groupism in the party. Also, it did not want the posts of deputy chief ministers to become alternative power centres, it is learnt.

Yediyurappa’s demand

The delay in finalising the composition of the team is being attributed to the alleged demand by former chief minister B. S. Yediyurappa to accommodate his son B. Y. Vijayendra. However, the party high command reportedly rejected the demand for now as he is yet to become a legislator, and also his elder brother is the MP from Shivamogga.

The process of choosing the ministerial team had become a challenge as the new chief minister had to keep in mind the interests of various factions as well as his predecessor, Mr. Yediyurappa. This was more so as Mr. Yediyurappa had to step down abruptly as chief minister.

Though speculations were rife that there would be a complete rejig of the old ministry led by Mr. Yediyurappa by leaving out the seniors, the Bommai ministry looks like a combination of seniors and a few juniors.

While veteran leaders like K. S. Eshwarappa and V. Somanna are part of the team, seven former ministers, including Jagadish Shettar, S. Suresh Kumar, Arvind Limbavali and C. P. Yogeshwar besides former deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi, have been dropped. Of them Mr. Shettar had refused to join the ministry citing his seniority.

Detractors and supporters

The party appears to have tried to bring in a semblance of political balance as it has kept out both Yediyurappa’s detractors, like Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, C. P. Yogeshwar and Arvind Bellad, as well as his close aides like M. P. Renukacharya and Nehru Olekar.

The six new faces include V. Sunil Kumar, Araga Jnanendra, Halappa Achar and Munirathna.

Status quo with respect to ministerial berths has been maintained among legislators who had come from other parties to help the BJP form the government, as most of them have been included barring a few minor changes.

No representation for 13 districts

But what has taken a beating in the process of ministerial expansion is regional representation, as 13 of the total 31 districts do not have a minister. The party leadership attributes this to the compulsion of giving ministerial berths to MLAs who came from outside as this has limited the chief minister’s choices. The status with respect to regional representation is unlikely to alter drastically as only four ministerial berths are vacant.

In terms of community combination, the team has 9 Lingayats, including a woman, eight Vokkaligas, 7 OBCs, 3 SCs and a ST, among others.

A communication regarding holding the swearing-in ceremony was sent to Raj Bhavan only a few hours before the programme as the BJP high command gave clearance to the ministerial list only on August 4 morning. Such was the level of secrecy shrouding the process of selection of candidates that an official announcement in this regard was made only on August 4 morning while they had been alerted by Mr. Bommai on the previous night or early morning.

Chief Secretary P. Ravi Kumar presided over the ceremony in which Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot administered the oath of office to the new Ministers in the presence of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

The first legislator to take the oath of office was Govind Karjol, who was a Deputy Chief Minister in the previous Cabinet led by B.S. Yediyurappa. He was followed by K.S. Eshwarappa, who too was a member of the previous Cabinet.

The list of ministers

Govind Karjol (Mudhol, Bagalkot district))

K. S. Eshwarappa (Shivamogga, Shivamogga district)

R. Ashok (Padmanabhanagar, Bengaluru)

B. Sriramulu (Bellari, Ballari district)

V. Sommanna (Govindraj Nagara, Bengaluru)

Umesh Katti (Hukkeri, Belagavi district)

S. Angara (Sullia, Dakshina Kannada district)

J. C. Madhu Swamy (Chikkanayakanahalli, Tumakuru district)

Araga Jnanendra (Thirthahalli, Chikkamagaluru district)

C .N. Ashwath Narayan (Malleswaram, Bengaluru)

C. C. Patil (Nargund, Gadag district)

Anand Singh (Vijayanagara, Ballari district)

Kota Srinivas Poojary (MLC)

Prabhu Chauhan (Aurad, Bidar district)

Murugesh Nirani (Bilgi, Bagalkot district)

Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapur, Uttara Kannada district)

S. T. Somashekar (Yeshwantpur, Bengaluru)

B.C. Patil (Hirekerur, Haveri district)

Byrathi Basavaraj (K.R. Puram, Bengaluru)

K. Sudhakar (Chikkaballapur, Chikkaballapur district)

K. Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout, Bengaluru)

Shashikala Jolle (Nippani, Belagavi district)

Nagaraj 'MTB' (MLC)

Dr. K. C. Narayan Gowda (Krishnarajpet, Mandya district)

B. C. Nagesh (Tiptur, Tumakuru district)

V. Sunil Kumar (Karkala, Udupi district)

A.H. Basappa (Yelburgi, Koppal district)

Shankar B. Patil Munenakoppa (Navalgund, Dharwad district)

Muniratna (Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Bengaluru)

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 3:09:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/govind-karjol-takes-oath-followed-by-ks-eshwarappa/article35716813.ece

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