Karnataka cabinet expansion on the cards as Kumaraswamy calls on Rahul Gandhi

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After Karnataka Chief Minister, H.D.Kumaraswamy met Congress President, Rahul Gandhi today; the speculation is rife that expansion of state cabinet is on the anvil.

H.D.Kumaraswamy cabinet was expanded last on July 7 with the induction of 25 ministers including 14 from the Congress, nine from Janata Dal (Secular) and one each from the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party.

Both parties had agreed to share the 34 portfolios in the ratio of 2:1, with the Congress getting 22 and the JD(S) 12, including the chief minister’s post. Along with chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and deputy chief minister G Parameshwara, the cabinet strength at present stands at 27. Of the 25 newly inducted ministers, 11 are from the Old Mysuru region, three each from Bengaluru City and Coastal Karnataka regions, and four each from the Hyderabad-Karnataka and Mumbai-Karnataka regions.  Among the 25, only one woman-Congress leader and film star, Jayamala had taken the oath.

Ever since the last induction in the cabinet, there were demands for expansion of the ministry. The meeting of Kumaraswamy at the residence of Congress President, Rahul Gandhi assumes added significance as the government has completed 100 days in power and the chief minister provided him a record of his performance. Kumaraswamy’s discussions with Rahul Gandhi also come on the eve of the JD(S)-Congress Coordination Committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

The Chief Minister confirmed after the meeting “In the meeting, I have requested the Congress President to take an early decision on expansion of the cabinet and appointment of corporation Boards chairman”. Asserting that the coalition government was successful in completing 100 days in the state, the chief minister said: “People in the state have various expectations. My first goal is to fulfill their expectations in the coming days.”  About his equation with former chief minister and Karnataka Congress leader, Siddarmaiah, the chief minister said that “The coalition government is secure under the leadership of Siddarmaiah who is necessary for the coalition government to run safely”.