The six-month-old HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition cabinet in Karnataka was expanded in Bengaluru on Saturday, withÂ eight ministers being inducted. Two ministers -- Ramesh Jarkiholi (Municipal Administration) and R Shankar (Forest and Environment) -- were dropped. The new ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Glass House at Raj Bhavan by Governor Vajubhai Vala amid tight security. The new inductees are Satish Jarkiholi, MB Patil, CS Shivalli, MTB Nagaraj, E Tukaram, PT Parameshwar Naik, Rahim Khan and RB Thimmapur, with seven of them hailing from north Karnataka.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, after meeting party General Secretary in charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal, CLP leader Siddarmaiah, Pradesh Congress Chief Dinesh Gundu Rao and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara gave the go-ahead on Friday night.
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala administers oath to new State cabinet ministers at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluruâ€” News Nation (@NewsNationTV) December 22, 2018
ðŸ“·: ANI pic.twitter.com/6BUqch4qQe
However, Congress's coalition partner JD(S) was not part of the round of cabinet expansion.
According to the agreement reached between the two partners at the time of formation of the coalition government in May, there are now six vacant ministerial positions left for the Congress and two for the JD(S).
"The cabinet expansion-cum-reshuffle decision was taken in view of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, so there is proper caste and regional representation from across the state," news agency IANS quoted an official as saying.
Ramesh Jarkiholi, who has allegedly been hobnobbing with BJP leaders and not attending cabinet and party meetings, has been replaced by his brother Satish Jarkiholi.
Shankar is an Independent lawmaker who faced the axe over his reported reluctance to be an associate member of the Congress.
(With PTI inputs)