Four days after 29 ministers took oath Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday allocated cabinet portfolios. Bommai retained DPAR, Finance, and Intelligence from Home, Cabinet Affairs, Bengaluru Development and all unallotted portfolios. BJP ministers from north Karnataka were being given plum posts. Newly inducted loyal party leaders were also awarded creme posts. The party gifted Araga Jnanendra with the Home Department, which surprised all.
The rebels who resigned from Congress and JD-(S) alliance to bring BJP into power mostly continued with earlier portfolios.
Former deputy chief minister and senior Dalit leader Govind Karajol has been allotted the much sought-after Major and Medium Irrigation portfolio.
Another senior leader from former Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa’s Shivamogga district has been allotted Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department.
R.Ashoka, a senior Vokkalga leader from Bengaluru, has been allotted Revenue excluding Muzarai. B.Sreeramulu, a prominent leader from Valmiki community and who represents Bellary mining barons (former minister Gali Janardhan Reddy and family) is allotted Transport portfolio with ST Welfare department.
Veteran BJP leader V.Somanna, who is known as a performer has got Housing Ministry and additionally given charge of Infrastructure Development portfolio.
Umesh V. Katti, senior leader from Belagavi has been rewarded with Forest, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs ministries. Prominent BJP leader from coastal belt S.Angara has been allotted with Fisheries, Ports and Inland Development.
J.C. Madhuswamy, who was close to Yediyurappa has been given Minor Irrigation, Law, parliamentary Affairs and Legislation portfolio.
Jnanendra, loyal party man picked by Sangh parivar to the cabinet got Home department sans intelligence.
Ashwathnarayan C.N., who held the post of deputy chief minister in the Yediyurappa government and played a prominent role in bringing BJP into power in the state has been given Higher Education, IT and BT, Science and Technology, Skill Development ministries.
C.C.Patil, a staunch follower of Yediyurappa has been given plum Public Works Department (PWD). Anand Singh, a leader from newly carved out Vijayanagar district has been given Ecology and Environment.
Kota Srinivas Poojari, an MLC and party loyalist has been allotted Social Welfare, Backward Classes Welfare. Prabhu Chouhan has been allotted Animal Husbandry as per his wishes.
Murugesh Nirani, the chief ministerial aspirant allotted Large and Medium Industries. Aravind Hebbar Shivaram is allotted with the Labour ministry.
S.T.Somashekar has continued in Co-operation, B.C.Patil has been given Agriculture portfolios. Bhyrathi Basavaraj, a prominent leader from Bengaluru has been allotted with Urban Development (including KUWSDB & KUDC).
K.Sudhakar was allotted Health, Family Welfare and Medical Education. K.Gopalaiah has been given Excise.
Shashiikala Jolle, the lone woman representative in cabinet is allotted with Muzrai, Haj and Wakf.
MTB Nagaraj, the richest minister in BJP has been allocated with Municipal Administration, Small Scale Industries, Public Sector Industries.
Narayanagowda has been given Sericulture, Youth Empowerment and Sports; B.C. Nagesh, the new face in the cabinet is allotted Primary and Secondary Education and Sakala portfolio is held by senior BJP leader S.Sureshkumar.
V.Sunilkumar, another new face and party loyalist has been awarded the Energy portfolio which was sought by many senior BJP leaders. He has also been given charge of Kannada and Culture.
Achar Halappa Basappa has been given Mines and Geology, Women and Child Development and Disabled and Senior Citizens Empowerment portfolios. Shankar B. Patil Munenakoppa, another new face in the cabinet has been given Handloom and Textile Department, Sugarcane Development and Directorate of Sugar.
Muniratna, a leader from Bengaluru who fought a long legal battle after joining BJP has been given Horticulture and Planning, Programme Monitoring and Statistics department.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had on Wednesday expanded his new cabinet, by inducting 29 ministers. The new Ministers, including the lone woman cabinet member Shashikala Jolle, were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot at the Raj Bhavan.
The Chief Minister had then said the allocation of portfolios to the new Ministers will be done in a couple of days.
In the cabinet expansion, which was seen as the first challenge before the new Chief Minister, Bommai has tried to play safe. He has by and large retained the old faces, as 23 of them were Ministers in the previous BS Yediyurappa cabinet, while six are new.
However, there are no Deputy Chief Ministers in this cabinet, unlike in the previous Yediyurappa Ministry, which had three.
According to party sources, the Chief Minister was against having any deputies.
The high command also shared his view as there were too many aspirants for the posts and it had the potential to create a further rift within the government and party in the days to come, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the BJP high command seems to have not agreed to induct Yediyurappa’s younger son and state BJP vice president BY Vijayendra into the cabinet, amid reports of pressure from the party strongman, in this regard.
“The national president has spoken to Yediyurappa and the national general secretary in charge of Karnataka Arun Singh spoke to Vijayendra personally.
“I can only say, Vijayendra’s name is not there in the list today,” Bommai said in response to a question on Vijayendra.
Among those in the Yediyurappa cabinet who made it to Bommai’s Ministry are- Govind Karjol (Mudhol), KS Eshwarappa (Shivamogga), R Ashoka (Padmanabhanagar), CN Ashwath Narayan (Malleshwaram), B Sriramulu (Molkalmuru), Umesh Katti (Hukkeri), ST Somashekar (Yeshwanthpur), K Sudhakar (Chikkaballapura); Byrathi Basavaraj (KR Puram), BC Patil(Hirekeruru), Murugesh Nirani (Beelagi), Shivaram Hebbar (Yeallapur), Shashikala Jolle (Nippani), KC Narayan Gowda (KR Pet), K Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout); JC Madhuswamy (Chikkanayakanahalli), Prabhu Chauhan (Aurad), V Somanna (Govindraj Nagar), S Angara (Sullia), Anand Singh (Vijayanagara), CC Patil (Nargund), MTB Nagaraj (MLC), and Kota Srinivas Poojary (MLC).
Among the fresh faces are- V Sunil Kumar (Karkala), Araga Jnanendra (Thirthahalli), Munirathna (RR Nagar), Halappa Achar (Yelburga), Shankar Patil Munenkopp (Navalgunda) and BC Nagesh (Tiptur).