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Karnataka: Kumaraswamy ministry to be expanded, reshuffled today

Two ministers — Ramesh Jarkiholi (Municipal Administration) and R Shankar (Forest and Environment) — are likely to be dropped.

SNS | New Delhi |

The much-awaited expansion and reshuffle of the six month-old H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition Cabinet in Karnataka would be carried out in Bengaluru on Saturday evening.

According to the official sources, two ministers — Ramesh Jarkiholi (Municipal Administration) and R Shankar (Forest and Environment) — are likely to be dropped.

New ministers would be sworn in at 5.20 pm by Governor Vajubhai Vala at Raj Bhavan, the sources said.

According to a statement issued by the office of Congress Legislature Party Leader Siddaramaiah, Satish Jarkiholi, M B Patil, C S Shivalli, M T B Nagaraj, E Tukaram, P T Parameshwar Naik, Rahim Khan and R B Thimmapur would be inducted into the ministry.

The press statement came a day after the names were cleared by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

There are eight vacancies in the cabinet, including two of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) from its quota of 12, including Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, and six from the quota of 22 of the Congress, including Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara.

Among the probable lawmakers from the Congress tipped for the cabinet posts are M.T.B. Nagaraj, C.S. Shivali, Sathish Jharkiholi, R.B. Thimmapur, Rahim Khan and Tanveer Sait.

The party may ask its two ministers Ramesh Jharkiholi holding Municipal Administration portfolio and R. Shankar (Forests) to resign to induct at least two of the four senior lawmakers – H.K. Patil, M.B. Patil, Ramalinga Reddy and Roshan Baig.

“Sathish will replace his elder brother Ramesh in the reshuffle and two of the four seniors are likely to join the cabinet,” said an official.

Besides Rao and Parameshwara, Congress Legislative Party leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah discussed the cabinet expansion with party President Rahul Gandhi at his residence in New Delhi earlier on Friday.

“The cabinet expansion-cum-reshuffle is being done keeping in view the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the caste combination with regional representation from across the state,” added the official.

Gandhi, after meeting party General Secretary in charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal, CLP leader Siddarmaiah, Pradesh Congress Chief Dinesh Gundu Rao and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara gave the go-ahead on Friday night.

(With inputs from agencies)