Cabinet expansion: Siddaramaiah gets nod from high command

Cabinet expansion: Siddaramaiah gets nod from high command

Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2016-06-18 19:54 Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is all set to conduct a major surgery to his cabinet, with the Congress high command giving a go ahead for the much-delayed cabinet expansion.Prominent ministers Revenue Minister Srinivas Prasad, a five-time MP, and Housing Minister HM Ambarish are likely to face the axe.Sources in the party said that nearly fourteen of the ‘incumbent’ ministers including Primary Education Minister Kimmane Ratnakar, Horticulture Minister Shamanoor Shivashankarappa, Minister for Apparel, Babu Rao Chinchansoor, Revenue Minister V Srinivasa Prasad, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake, Small Scale Industries Minister Satish Jharkiholi, Fisheries Minister, Abhay Chandra Jain and Labour Minister P T Parameshwar Nayak are likely to be dropped.The list of those who could be inducted include Speaker Kagodu Thimappa, Ramesh Kumar, Mysore City’s Narasimharaja constituency MLA, Tanveer Sait, Chittapur MLA Priyank Kharge, Byadgi MLA Rudrappa Lambani, Bagalkot MLA HY Meti, Vijaynagar MLA, M Krishnappa, Hiriyur MLA Dr Sudhakar, and Udupi MLA Pramod Madhwaraj.Interestingly Kalgatgi MLA Santosh Lad, considered to be a favourite of the CM, who was dropped following allegations of illegal mining, is now back in the reckoning and is likely to be sworn in as a minister on June 19.The expansion is being done to quell dissidence within the party and with an eye on next assembly polls, with the reported induction of Rudrappa Lamani, Pramod Madhvaraj and Priyank Kharge reflecting the Congress’s strategy.  But some senior party leaders such as Mallikarjuna Kharge and Oscar Fernandes have reportedly expressed their displeasure over dropping some of the ministers. Kharge was batting for Srinivas Prasad and Qamarul Islam, while Fernandes was backing Jain and Sorke. However, the chief minister’s loyalists are confident of quelling the dissidence.The expansion assumes significance since the CM has been drawing flak for poor administration and controversies dogging some of his ministers.