Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa allocated portfolios to the seven new ministers in his Cabinet and also reallocated departments to some other ministers in a major rejig on Thursday.
Among the new inductees who joined the Chief Minister's Cabinet only a week ago, Umesh Katti was allocated the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs while S Angara was given Fisheries, Ports and Inland Transport.
Details of portfolio allocation
Among the others, R Shankar received the Municipal Administration and Sericulture portfolio while MTB Nagaraj became the Excise Minister and CP Yogeshwar made in-charge of Minor Irrigation department.
JC Madhuswamy, a key minister who used to put up a strong defence of the government in state Assembly, was rather divested of Law, Parliamentary Affairs, Legislation and Minor Irrigation portfolios and allocated Medical Education, Kannada and Culture departments. Meanwhile, the Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation department was given to Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai as an additional portfolio.
In addition, Anand Singh was relieved of his duties of handling the Forest Department and now been allotted the Tourism ministry, along with Environment and Ecology. The Department of Medical Education was taken back from Health and Family Welfare Minister K Sudhakar.
CC Patil who earlier in-charge of the Mines and Geology portfolio has now been given the Department of Small Scale Industries and Information and Public Relations.
However, the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR), Cabinet Affairs, Finance, Bangalore Development, Energy, Intelligence, Planning, Programme Monitoring Statistics, Infrastructure Development and all other unallocated portfolios have been kept by Yediyurappa himself.
Finalizing a long-pending issue
The decision to hold back on portfolio allocation was made by the Chief Minister until the conclusion of a two-day visit to the state by Union Home Minister and senior party leader Amit Shah earlier this month.
According to Press Trust of India, the Cabinet reshuffle came after reports of resentment among some ministers regarding ministries and departments allocated to them.
In fact, it has been said that the expansion, a bid by the Chief Minister to increase his team strength to 33 – one less than its full capacity of 34 – has further exposed deep divisions and a lack of unity in the state BJP unit.
It is to be noted that Yediyurappa giving 12 of the 34 available ministerial posts to new entrants to the BJP from the Congress and JDS – who were among 17 MLAs who helped the BJP overthrow the Congress-JDS coalition and muster the majority of 113 seats for forming the government – is a prominent source of anger among party MLAs.