After dilly-dallying for months, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has finally appointed nine of its 37 legislators as chairmen of state-run boards and corporations.
"The legislators were selected for the posts in consultation with our party supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, party's state working president AH Vishwanath and party's senior leader HD Revanna on Tuesday as the general elections are nearing," a party official told IANS.
Karnataka allies Congress and JD(S), as part of their coalition arrangement, have agreed to hold top posts in 30 boards and corporations in a 2:1 ratio in proportion to their representation in the assembly.
Accordingly, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on January 7 appointed 14 Congress legislators, including a woman MLA, as heads of various boards and corporations.
"He has also appointed four JD(S) lawmakers as parliamentary secretaries according to the arrangement with the Congress, which already has eight parliamentary secretaries," added the official.
Two more Congress legislators were appointed as chairmen of Karnataka Forest Industrial Corporation and Karnataka Tanda (Tribals) Development Corporation.
The posts enjoy cabinet status with commensurate perquisites.
Representation in the 34-member Council of Ministers is also in the ratio of 22:12, as the Congress has 80 legislators, including the Speaker.
Ten of JD(S) legislators, including Kumaraswamy, are cabinet ministers in the coalition government' while two vacancies are yet to be filled.
The Congress has filled its quota of 22 cabinet posts with the induction of 10 more of its legislators on December 22 in a reshuffle, in which one of its ministers was dropped along with its supporting party member.
In the 225-member assembly, including one nominated from the Anglo-Indian community, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 104 legislators, while the remaining are one each from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) and one independent.
To ostensibly keep the BJP out of power, the Congress extended support to the JD(S) and offered the Chief Minister's post to Kumaraswamy after it was defeated in the May 12, 2018, assembly elections in the southern state.