Five lawmakers to join Karnataka cabinet Thursday


Bangalore : Five lawmakers of Karnataka’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will take oath here Thursday evening in the second cabinet expansion of the party’s second government in the state.

Support TwoCircles

“The party high command has approved five legislators to be inducted into the ministry in consultation with state Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and the party’s state unit president K.S. Eshwarappa in New Delhi earlier in the day,” a source privy to the discussions told IANS.

The five legislators, who will be sworn-in by state governor H.R. Bharadwaj in Raj Bhavan at 6 p.m., are Varthur Prakash, Raju Gowda, Anand Asnotikar, Balachandra Jarkholi and C.P. Yogeshwar.

“Gowda and Eshwarappa will arrive here by evening from Delhi to be present at the oath-taking ceremony along with other ministers, legislators, party leaders and senior officials,” the source said.

Gowda, who became the BJP’s second chief minister in the state Aug 4, expanded his ministry Aug 8 by inducting 21 legislators with portfolios they held in the previous B.S. Yeddyurappa government.

Prakash, who was elected as an independent in the May 2008 state assembly poll, joined the ruling party after voting in favour of the Yeddyurappa government during the second trust vote in October 2010.

Asnotikar and Jarholi, who rebelled against Yeddyurappa and were disqualified by speaker K.G. Bopaiah Oct 8, were cabinet ministers in the previous government.

The Supreme Court, however, revoked their disqualification in May along with 14 other lawmakers, including nine from the ruling party and five independent.

As categorically stated by Gowda Wednesday in Delhi, the Reddy brothers – G. Karnunakara and G. Janardhana – will be kept out of the cabinet following their indictment by the state Lokayukta (ombudsman) July 27 in the multi-crore mining scam in the state.

In a related development, party legislator B.P. Harish urged Gowda to drop housing minister V. Somanna from the cabinet as he too was indicted in the mining scam.

“Though I am not aspiring for any ministerial berth, Somanna’s induction into the ministry is giving the government and the party a bad name,” Harish told reporters here.