Karnataka ministry expansion Saturday, 29 to be sworn-in; tainted to be kept out
Bangalore: The four-day old Siddaramaiah ministry in Karnataka will be expanded on Saturday with the induction of 29 ministers, an exercise from which the "tainted" would be kept out.
Siddaramaiah, who was sworn in as the Chief Minister on May 13 marking return of Congress to power after a seven-year hiatus, however, ruled out induction of any Deputy Chief Minister.
29 ministers will be sworn in at Raj Bhavan, the 64-year-old Chief Minister told reporters in the district headquarters town of Mysore on his return from Delhi where the first list of ministers was finalised in consultation with the party`s central leadership.
Karnataka Assembly has a strength of 224 and Siddaramaiah can induct up to 33 ministers.
"The swearing-in is at 10.30 AM (at Raj Bhavan)," he said, adding, Governor HR Bhardwaj would administer the oath of office.
A section within the Congress and freedom fighter HS Doreswamy have strongly pushed the party leadership not to give Cabinet berths to those allegedly involved in illegal mining scam and facing corruption charges.
In this context, party sources suggested that the Lad brothers -- Anil and Santosh -- may not find a berth, as also former Working President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) DK Shiva Kumar, who had also staked claim for the Chief Minister`s post.
Ruling out induction of any scam-tainted person, Siddaramaiah said there would be no one involved in any scandal who will find a place in his ministry.
He said the focus of the cabinet expansion would be on "region and social justice".
Meanwhile, the Speaker`s post may go to octogenarian MLA Kagodu Thimmappa, who won from Sagara in Shimoga District.
"We are thinking of Kagodu Thimmappa," Siddaramaiah said.
But Thimmappa has reportedly turned down the proposal.
Siddaramaiah said there would be no Deputy Chief Minister, a post eyed by KPCC President G Parameshwara, who lost in the May five polls, and senior MLA TB Jayachandra.
Sources said Parameshwara is expected to continue as KPCC President.
The names doing the rounds for Cabinet berths include Jayachandra, RV Deshpande, HK Patil, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Ramanatha Rai, Ambarish and Ramalinga Reddy, according to Congress sources.
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