HD Kumaraswamy expands Cabinet, inducts two ministers

Prime News, Karnataka, Bengaluru, June 14:-Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday expanded his Cabinet by inducting two Independent MLAs into the ministry in an apparent move to give stability to his 13-month-old wobbly government.

In the much-awaited expansion, R Shankar and H Nagesh were sworn in as Cabinet-rank ministers by Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala who administered them the oath of office and secrecy at a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan here.

Shankar had served as minister during the initial days of the Kumaraswamy government but was dropped from the cabinet during the rejig in December last year.

He and Nagesh had sided with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and written to the Governor withdrawing support to the government. As the BJP failed in its alleged attempts to topple the coalition government, the two lawmakers made a U-turn and moved closer to the coalition.

The two were inducted from the Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress’ share in the ministry, in an attempt to block chances of their switching over to the BJP whom the ruling coalition has accused of trying to dislodge the Kumaraswamy government.

Congress MLA Tanveer Sait and JD(S) MLA A H Vishwanath, who had expressed their desire to join the Kumaraswamy Cabinet in the recent past, will certainly be disappointed. Rumours were flying thick and fast that Vishwanath may get a nod. On the other hand, Sait’s supporters were also hoping their leader would be lucky this time. But their hopes were dashed.

Soon after resigning as state party president, Vishwanath had said he would concentrate on Hunsur constituency from where has been elected as a legislator. Surprisingly, a couple of days back, the Kuruba leader said he has no problems if Kumaraswamy offers him a cabinet berth. Many local Congress leaders had criticised Vishwanath for his selfish motive.

That he has not been sidelined, Vishwanath’s exclusion should not come as a surprise. What he spoke against former chief minister Siddaramaiah after putting in his papers as party president is still an issue that is being discussed in political circles. Given this scenario, even if Kumaraswamy had thought of including Vishwanath in his Cabinet, Siddaramaiah would not have allowed it to happen. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB, MR)

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