Bengaluru: The much-awaited expansion of the State Cabinet of the JD(S)-Congress coalition Government, took place with the induction of two Ministers at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan in the State Capital this afternoon.
R. Shankar, who was elected on a KPJP ticket from Ranebennur Assembly segment of Haveri District and H. Nagesh who was elected as an Independent from Mulbagal (SC) segment of Kolar district in 2018 Assembly polls, were the newly-inducted Ministers.
Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath to both, who swore in the name of God.
This is the second stint as Minister for Shankar as he had previously served in the coalition Government as Forest Minister, before being dropped from the Cabinet about six months ago.
Both are first time MLAs, who have extended their support to the ruling coalition Government.
Prior to being inducted into the Cabinet, Shankar merged the KPJP (Karnataka Prajakiya Janata Party) on which ticket he was elected, with the Congress. Shankar handed over the merger letter to CLP leader and former CM Siddharamaiah just a couple of hours before he was inducted into the Cabinet.
It is learnt that the two were inducted under the Congress quota of Ministerial berths in the coalition Government.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy (HDK) has retained one Cabinet berth unfilled, as there are many aspirants in both the Congress and JD(S) camps. The JD(S) has decided to keep the vacant berth which is its quota for now as filling up would lead to more dissensions in the already fragile coalition.
The Cabinet expansion exercise had become a headache for CM Kumaraswamy as there are many aspirants in both the parties.
Rumblings within the coalition Government became bigger after both the parties, who contested the LS polls jointly, received a severe drubbing at the hustings, with the BJP winning 25 out of the 28 seats in the State.
CM’s son Nikhil and many senior Congress leaders tasted defeat in the just held 2019 LS polls.