Karnataka cabinet reshuffle on Sunday

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Bengaluru, June 18 (IANS) Karnataka will see a cabinet reshuffle on Sunday, with the induction of at least a dozen new ministers replacing an equal number of incumbents.

“Governor Vajubhai R. Vala will administer oath of office to the new ministers at 4 p.m. on Sunday in the Raj Bhavan,” a senior official told IANS on Saturday.

The revamping of the three-year-old Congress ministry comes a day after the ruling party’s high command consented to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s proposal for injecting fresh or young blood to stay on course for the next assembly polls, due in 2018.

“The party high command, comprising president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi has cleared the list of lawmakers to be inducted and those to be dropped from the ministry,” a party source said.

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Party general secretary and state in-charge Digvijay Singh and state unit president and Home Minister G. Parameshwara were also present when the list of probable was finalised on Friday.

The reshuffle also comes a week after the Congress won three of the four Rajya Sabha seats in the biennial elections and four seats in the state legislative council.

Though Siddaramaiah has filled up most of the 34-member council of ministers, election of four young lawmakers like Rizwan Arshad to the legislative council on June 10 prompted the party to go for a major change.

“The revamp exercise will ensure fair representation to all the people across the state, spanning castes and regions,” the source asserted.

The party, however, failed to win in the four-seat Graduates and Teachers’ constituencies in the legislative council, as its rivals BJP and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) wrested two each.

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As Karnataka is the only major state where the Congress is in power after the party lost in Assam and Kerala in the last month assembly elections, Siddaramaiah and Parameshwara are hoping the revamp would refurbish the party’s image, tainted by drought, farmers’ suicides and local bodies polls.

“The reshuffle involves inducting a few legislators into the ministry and dropping a few of the ministers for the party work,” Siddaramaiah told reporters in New Delhi before flying back to the city.



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