Karnataka’s over three-week-old BJP ministry was expanded on Tuesday with the induction of 17 legislators, including one Independent, as Cabinet ministers at a simple ceremony here.
“State Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 17 lawmakers at the Raj Bhavan,” an official said.
The legislators, who took oath in Kannada are Govind Karjol, C.N. Ashwath Narayan, Laxman Savadi, K.S. Eshwarappa, R. Ashoka, Jagadish Shettar, B. Sreeramulu, S. Suresh Kumar, V. Somanna, C.T. Ravi, Basavaraj Bommai, Kota Srinivas Poojari, J.C. Madhu Swamy, Chandrakantagouda Patil, H. Nagesh, Prabhu Chauhan and Jollie Shashikala Annasaheb,
BJP’s veteran Lingayat community leader B.S. Yediyurappa, 76, became Chief Minister for the fourth time on July 26 after the party returned to power following the collapse of the 14-month-old JD-S-Congress coalition government on July 23, when its chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy lost the confidence motion he moved in the Legislative Assembly on July 18.
Jollie is the lone woman in the 18-member ministry, including the Chief Minister.
Of the 17 ministers, 16 belong to the BJP and one (Nagesh) is an Independent from Mulbaga Assembly segment in the backward Kolar district, about 100km east of Bengaluru.
Of the 16 BJP lawmakers, Poojari is the party’s leader in the state Legislative Council.
Of the ruling party’s members, four — Narayan, Swamy, Chauhan and Jollie have become ministers for the first time.
Shettar was the BJP’s third chief minister from September 2012 to May 2013, when the party was in power for the first time between 2008 and 2013.
Yediyurappa became the BJP’s first chief minister in south India after the party came to power for the first time on its own with a simple majority in May 2008.
He, however, was forced to resign on July 31, 2011 after being indicted by the Lokayuktha, the state anti-corruption body, for his alleged role in the multi-crore mining scam that rocked the southern state for a decade between 2001-11.
Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers D.V. Sadananda Gowda was the second BJP chief minister in the state from August 2011 to September 2012.
Gowda is a two-time Lok Sabha member from Bangalore North constituency.
“The names of the 17 legislators were cleared by our party’s high command, including national President Amit Shah for induction into the ministry on Monday,” party’s state unit spokesman G. Madhusudana told IANS.
Bengaluru, Aug 20 (IANS)