Karnataka

Parameshwara parts with plum portfolio in Karnataka Cabinet expansion

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After several days of discussions and rumblings, the six-month-old coalition government, headed by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, allocated portfolios to eight newly inducted Ministers of the Congress on Friday, with M.B. Patil bagging the coveted Home portfolio.

Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara has had to part with the portfolio and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has succeeded in having it assigned to his loyalist Mr. Patil, who was Water Resources Minister in his government.

Even during the process of Cabinet expansion, Mr. Siddaramaiah is said to have had a big say, with many of his loyalists from north Karnataka making their way into the Cabinet. Seven of the eight new Ministers are from that region.

However, speaking in Hubballi, Mr. Siddaramaiah said he had nothing to do with Dr. Parameshwara losing the Home portfolio.

Out of the 22 Congress Ministers, only Dr. Parameshwara and D.K. Shivakumar hold more than one major portfolio. While the former is holding four, Mr. Shivakumar is holding two.

It is learnt that Dr. Parameshwara was unwilling to give up Home Department and did so only after some “gentle advice” from Congress president Rahul Gandhi. He will continue to hold the coveted Bengaluru Development ministry alongside three more portfolios — IT, BT, and Science and Technology; Law, Justice and Human Rights; and Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation.

The Youth Empowerment and Sports portfolio has been taken out of the Deputy Chief Minister’s kitty and given to first-time Minister Rahim Khan from Bidar.

Mr. Shivakumar has had to give up the Medical Education portfolio for E. Tukaram, another first-time Minister, from Ballari. Mr. Shivakumar will now hold the Kannada and Culture portfolio, besides Water Resources.

The list of portfolios was cleared by Mr. Gandhi and sent to the Chief Minister by K.C. Venugopal, All-India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of Karnataka. The portfolios of a few Congress Ministers have also been reshuffled to accommodate the eight new Ministers.

Satish Jarkiholi has been given the Forest, Ecology and Environment portfolio, which was earlier held by R. Shankar, now dropped from the Cabinet. N. Nagaraju (MTB) has been given Housing, which was earlier with U.T. Khader. Mr. Khader will continue to hold the Urban Development portfolio. Ramesh Jarkiholi’s Municipal Administration portfolio is now with C.S. Shivalli, another first-time Minster.

P.T. Parameshwar Naik, four-time MLA from Hoovina Hadagali of Ballari, has been given the slightly low-profile portfolios of Muzrai and Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Livelihood, while R.B. Thimmapur has been allocated Sugar and Port and Inland Transport.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:07:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/parameshwara-parts-with-plum-portfolio-in-karnataka-cabinet-expansion/article25854263.ece

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