Cabinet Expansion
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Cabinet Expansion

January 13, 2021

Seven Legislators to take oath at 3.50 pm

Bengaluru: Ending months of suspense over his Cabinet exercise, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa is all set to expand his one-and-a-half-year-old  BJP Ministry with the inclusion of seven Legislators later this afternoon. 

The swearing-in of the new Ministers will take place at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru at about 3.50 pm, with Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala administering the oath.

Meanwhile, BJP In-charge of Karnataka Arun Singh arrived in the State capital this morning to be part of the swearing-in ceremony.

The induction of seven Legislators has come as a Sankranti gift for them from the CM, as they are being sworn-in on the festival eve.

The seven legislators to be inducted are: Umesh Katti, Murugesh Nirani, N. Nagaraj (MTB  Nagaraj), R.Shankar, Aravind Limbavali, S. Angara and C.P. Yogeshwar.

Umesh Katti is a multiple time MLA from Hukkeri in Belagavi district; Murugesh Nirani is a third-time MLA from Bilgi in Bagalkot district; Aravind Limbavali is MLA from Mahadevapura in Bengaluru and S.Angara is a six-time successive MLA from Sullia in Dakshina Kannada district, while MTB Nagaraj, R.Shankar and C.P. Yogeshwar are MLCs.

While MLAs Umesh Katti, Nirani, Limbavali and Angara are originally BJP MLAs and C.P. Yogeshwar, a BJP MLC, two others — Shankar and MTB Nagaraj — who are now MLCs, had quit as MLAs and played a key role in the collapse of the JD(S)-Congress coalition Government in July 2019. 

Shankar had won as an Independent candidate from Ranebennur in Haveri district  and MTB Nagaraj from Hoskote in Bengaluru Rural District in the 2018 Assembly polls.

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In today’s expansion, BSY has attempted to  maintain caste  and regional balance, with the induction of two Lingayat legislators (Katti and Nirani), two Kuruba legislators (R.Shankar and MTB Nagaraj), one from Bovi (SC) community (Limbavali), one from SC community (S.Angara) and one from Vokkaliga community (C.P. Yogeshwar).

After failing to get the party leadership’s nod in the past 4-5 months despite several visits to New Delhi, Yediyurappa met BJP National President J.P. Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday last and secured the go-ahead for the Cabinet expansion,  thus ending speculation whether it will be a Cabinet rejig  or expansion.

With only seven vacancies to be filled, Yediyurappa will be inducting the seven legislators, thus fully completing his Cabinet, in which 34 Ministers, including the CM can be accommodated. 

The list of new Ministers to be inducted  was sent to Raj Bhavan only this morning, after the CM had finalised it following multiple rounds of discussions and deliberations within the party circles.

However, sources said that the CM has asked Excise Minister H.Nagesh, an independent MLA from Mulbagal in Kolar district, to quit the Cabinet. BSY plans to fill the lone vacancy that comes into effect once Nagesh quits or is sacked, with the induction of Bengaluru’s Rajarajeshwarinagar MLA Muniratna, who also played a major role in the collapse of the coalition Government.  Muniratna had lobbied hard for a berth, but his relentless  attempts to enter the Cabinet has proved futile,  at least for now. 

There were several other keen aspirants, who included Renukacharya (Honnali), S.A.Ramdas (K.R.), Appachu  Ranjan (Madikeri), G.H. Thippareddy (Chitradurga), M.P. Kumaraswamy (Mudigere), Raju Gouda aka Narasimha Nayak (Surapur), Karunakar Reddy (Harapanahalli), Satish Reddy (Bommanhalli), Poornima Srinivas (Hiriyur) and MLC  A.H.Vishwanath. But with all the Cabinet berths getting completely filled with the induction of seven legislators, it remains to be seen how the CM handles the  berth claims of these unsuccessful aspirants in the next 28 months of the current tenure of the Assembly.

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In the meantime, it is learnt that following the CM’s advice, Excise Minister H. Nagesh  resigned from the Cabinet  this afternoon ahead of the Cabinet exercise.

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