It was evening of major revamp for Karnataka ministers as under-pressure Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today sacked 14 lawmakers and inducted 13 members into his Council of Ministry. With the Congress High Command giving the nod for the changes, nine ministers of cabinet rank and four ministers of state were inducted at the swearing in ceremony at Raj Bhavan with Governor Vajubhai Vala administering the oath of office and secrecy.
Ahead of the swearing in, Siddaramaiah recommended sacking of 14 ministers which the Governor accepted.
Tanveer Sait, Kagodu Thimmappa, Ramesh Kumar, Basavaraj Raya Reddy, H Y Meti, S S Mallikarjun, M R Seetharam, Santosh Lad and Ramesh Jarkiholi were inducted as cabinet rank ministers.
Priyank Kharge, Rudrappa Lamani, Eshwar Khandre and Pramod Madhwaraj were sworn in as Ministers of State.
Thimmappa and Ramesh Kumar are former Assembly Speakers, while Kharge is the son of Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.
The ministers who faced the axe are: Qamarul Islam, Shamanoor Shivashankarappa, V Srinivasa Prasad, M H Ambareesh, Vinay Kumar Sorake, Satish Jarkiholi, Baburao Chinchansoor, Shivaraj Sangappa Tangadagi, S R Patil, Manohar Tahasildhar, K Abayachandra Jain, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Kimmane Ratnakar, P T Parameshwar Naik.
Ministers who were seen as non-performers or were hit by some controversy or the other were shown the door,according to party sources, which also said the exercise was to inject “more dynamic members” into the ministry.
The Chief Minister has embarked upon the exercise more than three years after assuming office on May 13, 2013.
Siddaramaiah received the green signal from Congress High Command yesterday after intense confabulations with party President Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi, who authorised him to carry out the rejig.
In the reshuffle, the Chief Minister has tried to balance equations of caste and region.
The exercise is coming in order to put the party on a sound footing two years before the Assembly elections in Karnataka, which is the only major state where Congress is ruling after being recently ejected out of power in Kerala and Assam.
With the reshuffle, the ministry has a strength of 33, one less than the constitutional limit.