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Karnataka: Kumaraswamy expands Cabinet
January 25, 2007 11:48 IST
Nearly a year after becoming the Karnataka chief minister, H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday completed the final ministry expansion exercise inducting five members into cabinet but without a woman face.
In the much expected exercise that takes the state ministry's strength to the maximum permissible limit of 34, Kumaraswamy inducted three ministers from his party Janata Dal (Secular) and two from the Bharatiya Janata Party. H S Mahadevprasad, Alangur Srinivas and G T Devegowda from JDS and S Shivanna and Appu Pattana Shetty from BJP were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor T N Chaturvedi at the Banquet Hall of Raj Bhavan.
The third expansion since he took over as Chief Minister on February three after his political masterstroke in withdrawing support to the JDS-Congress government saw its collapse, however, left women ministerial aspirants in both JDS and BJP camps disappointed.
Talking to media persons, Kumaraswamy confessed that he was also 'feeling very bad' about non-inclusion of women citing 'political circumstances' but was quick to point out that it was the JDS-BJP government, which had placed women on top priority and given them welfare programmes that no other government either at the state or national level did.
Deputy Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa held out a promise to women aspirants in his party, saying that when the BJP heads the coalition eight months from now, they would be accomodated after drafting six or seven ministers for party work.
All five ministers from both coalition partners are either from the dominant Lingayat or Vokkaliga community. Asked about this, Kumaraswamy dismissed suggestions that other sections had been neglected and pointed out that the berths had been vacant from the 'upper communities' quota only.
He said there would be a reshuffle of portfolios following the ministry expansion. Kumaraswamy, who was under pressure from ministerial aspirants, said he did not anticipate any 'trouble' from those left out, asserting there was no internal bickering within JDS.
"I am running the government with full confidence," he said.
In an apparent preemptive move to nip any disgruntlement in the bud, the BJP released a list of its candidates for appointment to various state-owned boards and corporations yesterday itself. JDS, Kumaraswamy said, was also ready with its list. The swearing in ceremony took place just ahead of the 15-day legislature session beginning on Thursday with a joint address by the Governor.
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