Cabinet expansion in third week of September: Siddharamaiah

Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Chairman of the Coordination and Monitoring Committee Siddharamaiah yesterday said that the Cabinet expansion will take place in the third week of September.

“The Cabinet expansion and naming the Chairmen of Boards and Corporations will take place simultaneously in the third week of September,” Siddharamaiah said after the Coordination Committee’s third meeting since the formation of the coalition government in Bengaluru.

The delay in announcing the Cabinet expansion had fuelled dissent within senior leaders of both the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular), who had missed landing a Ministerial berth in the first round. Of the 34 Ministerial berths, only 27 have been filled, that had led to many leaders from both parties openly expressing their displeasure and threatening to destabilise the fragile partnership that completed 100 days in office.

Siddharamaiah, whose statements and any cautions were viewed as trying to destabilise the coalition, clarified that this government would complete its full term in office. He said that all allegations against him and the stability of the government are “baseless, speculative and unfounded.”

“This government is going in the right direction,” the former CM said about the performance of the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led coalition government that came about after the State’s electorate handed a fractured mandate in the May Assembly elections.

He hailed the Rs. 40,000 crore farm loan waiver as one of the bigger achievements of the government, which Siddharamaiah said can be credited to both parties. Siddharamaiah also said that post the Urban Local Body (ULB) results on Sept. 3, both the parties who had an informal arrangement, will decide on a post-poll alliance if there is a fractured mandate.

The two parties hope that the farm loan waiver and the debt relief waiver will reap rich dividends in the just concluded ULB polls and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections that the two parties have decided to fight jointly.