In a major revamp, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday sacked 14 Ministers and inducted 13 into his Council of Ministers in a long-awaited exercise.
With the Congress high command giving the go-ahead, nine Ministers of Cabinet rank and four Ministers of State were sworn in by Governor Vajubhai Vala at a ceremony in Raj Bhavan.
Tanveer Sait, Kagodu Thimmappa, Ramesh Kumar, Basavaraj Raya Reddy, H.Y. Meti, S.S. Mallikarjun, M.R. Seetharam, Santosh Lad and Ramesh Jarkiholi were inducted as Cabinet Ministers.
Priyank Kharge, Rudrappa Lamani, Eshwar Khandre and Pramod Madhwaraj were sworn in as Ministers of State.
Mr. Thimmappa and Mr. Kumar are former Assembly Speakers, while Mr. Priyank Kharge is the son of Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.
Ahead of the swearing-in, Mr. Siddaramaiah dropped 14 Ministers.
The Ministers who faced the axe are: Qamarul Islam, Shamanoor Shivashankarappa, V. Srinivasa Prasad, M.H. Ambareesh, Vinay Kumar Sorake, Satish Laxmanarao Jarkiholi, Baburao Chinchansoor, Shivraj Sangappa Tangadagi, S.R. Patil, Manohar H. Tahasildhar, K. Abayachandra Jain, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Kimmane Ratnakar, P.T. Parameshwar Naik.
Ministers who were seen as non-performers or were hit by some controversy or the other were shown the door, according to party sources, which also said the exercise was to inject “more dynamic members” into the Ministry.
The Chief Minister has embarked upon the exercise more than three years after assuming office on May 13, 2013.
Mr. Siddaramaiah received the green signal from Congress High Command on Saturday after intense confabulations with party president Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi, who authorised him to carry out the rejig.
In the reshuffle, the Chief Minister has tried to balance equations of caste and region.
The exercise is coming in order to put the party on a sound footing two years before the Assembly elections in Karnataka, which is the only major State where the Congress is ruling after being recently ejected out of power in Kerala and Assam.
With the reshuffle, the Ministry has a strength of 33, one less than the constitutional limit.
Keywords: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Karnataka Cabinet reshuffle