The much-awaited cabinet expansion of the six-month-old JD-S-Congress coalition government in Karnataka will take place on December 22, said former Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday.
"We have arrived at a decision to expand the cabinet on December 22, after the state legislature's winter session from December 10 at Belagavi," Siddaramaiah told reporters after the ruling coalition partners' five-member coordination committee meeting in Bengaluru under his chairmanship.
This comes amidst conjecture that there was dissent brewing within Congress party members in the state, who have expressed their displeasure at not being given Cabinet berths in the current government.
According to reports, Congress leader Siddaramaiah decided on the date after much consultation with Congress party president Rahul Gandhi and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda in a meeting lasting over two hours. Speaking to the media, Siddaramaiah stated that six members from the Congress and two from JD(S) would be given cabinet positions, adding that MLAs would be appointed as corporation heads.
This step is expected to soothe frayed ties and pacify frustrated members of the Congress camp who have become restless following repeated postponing of cabinet expansion plans.
Speaking to the media after the fourth coordination committee meeting, Siddaramaiah said, “We have also decided to nominate chairpersons to 30 boards and corporations. Like in my time, Parliamentary Secretaries will also be appointed.” He further added that the names of the members being considered for positions cannot be given out at present, until the same have been further discussed with party president Rahul Gandhi.
The upcoming expansion of the current 26-member cabinet will be the second one since HD Kumaraswamy came to power.
It was also speculated that a few MLAs from Congress had expressed their discontent with the party leadership and current government’s functioning. Siddaramaiah quashed speculations about the rife with Satish Jarkiholi and stated that none of the Congress MLAs would be leaving the party and that dismissed such conjecture as mere rumours.
(With IANS inputs)