Four new ministers to be sworn in Karnataka today

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would expand his Cabinet on Thursday by inducting four lawmakers, including state Congress president G Parameshwar, as cabinet ministers.

“Governor Vajubhai R Vala will administer the oath to four party members at 4:30 pm on Thursday in Raj Bhavan here,” a Congress official had told a news agency on Wednesday.

Besides Parameshwar, who hails from Tumakuru district, those approved by the party high command for induction are Arakalagud Manju from Hassan district, Vinay Kulkarni from Dharwad district and Manohar Tahsildar from Haveri district.

“The Chief Minister will reshuffle portfolios of some of the ministers and allocate them to the new ministers,” the official said.

This is the second cabinet expansion since the Congress returned to power in May 2013. The first expansion was on January 1, 2014, with the induction of Roshan Baig and DK Shivakumar as ministers.

The second expansion will take the number of ministers to 34, including the chief minister, and complete the quota, that is 15 percent of the state legislative assembly strength of 225, including one nominated lawmaker.

The Congress has 112 members, Bharatiya Janata Party 44, Janata Dal-Secular 40, Independents nine while the remaining 10 are from regional outfits.

The Congress will have to elect a new state unit president once Parameshwar joined the Cabinet.

The list of new ministers was finalised in New Delhi at a Wednesday meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi held with Siddaramaiah, Parameshwar and party general secretary Digvijaya Singh, who is incharge of the party’s state unit.