K’taka: 5 more join BJP ministry, Reddys kept out

In the second expansion in three days, Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Thursday inducted five ministers of cabinet rank into his ministry, but kept out the controversial Reddy brothers.

Bangalore: In the second expansion in three
days, Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Thursday
inducted five ministers of cabinet rank into his ministry, but
kept out the controversial Reddy brothers.

Gowda managed to shrug off pressure by mining magnets G
Janardhana Reddy, his brother Karunakara Reddy and their
family associate B Sreeramulu to regain ministerial berth.
In today`s exercise that took the strength of the
ministry to 27, Balachandra Laxmanrao Jarkiholi, Anand Vasanth
Asnotikar, Raju Gowda (Narasimha Naik), C P Yogeshwar and
Varthur Prakash (Ind) were administered oath of office and
secrecy by Governor H R Bhardwaj at Raj Bhavan.

Yogeshwar, Raju Gowda and Prakash are first timers into
the ministry. Jarkiholi and Asnotikar had served in the
previous B S Yeddyurappa government.

Gowda, who was sworn-in as chief minister on August 4,
has still kept seven ministerial berths vacant, keeping the
hopes of many ministerial aspirants alive.

On August 8, Gowda, inducted 21 cabinet rank ministers,
all of whom were in the Yeddyurappa ministry.

Gowda who came under intense pressure for ministerial
slot, rushed to New Delhi this morning, sought the nod of his
party high command for the second instalment of ministry
expansion and returned by evening to complete the exercise.

The BJP high command has decided to keep away the Reddy
brothers following their indictment by the Lokayukta report on
illegal mining.
Jarkiholi and Asnotikar, the rebels-turned loyalists of
former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, return to the ministry
after a gap of about 10 months.

Yeddyurappa had sacked both of them along with other
rebel ministers last October, after they joined dissidents and
withdrew support to his government.

Jarkiholi and Asnotikar were among the 11 disqualified
rebel BJP MLAs, whose membership was restored by the Supreme
Court in May. All the 11 MLAs later supported Yeddyurappa.

Yogeshwar, who managed to win the Chennapatna by-election
during April, has been rewarded with a ministerial berth,
apparently in a bid to strengthen BJP in old Mysore region and
to counter the growth of JDS.

At last after several attempts, luck has smiled on
Varthur Prakash, the lone independent to get into the
ministry, despite a long list of aspirants among BJP MLAs.

Raju Gowda is also dissident-turned-loyalist to become
the minister.

As per the constitutional stipulation, Karnataka can have
a strength of 34-member ministry.

Reddy brothers stayed away from the today`s swearing-in
ceremony at which Sadananda Gowda, his ministerial colleagues
and Yeddyurappa were present.

PTI

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