Bengaluru, May 26
A week after assuming power in Karnataka, the Congress on Friday released the list of 24 legislators who will be sworn-in as ministers to fill up all the vacant ministerial positions.
The cabinet expansion will take place on Saturday noon with their swearing-in ceremony, according to Congress leaders.
The Karnataka government can have 34 ministers. While 10 of them including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy D K Shivakumar were sworn-in on March 20, the rest will be inducted on Saturday.
Senior MLA HK Patil, Krishna Byregowda, N Cheluvarayaswamy, K Venkatesh, Dr HC Mahadevappa, Congress working president Eshwar Khandre and former Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao are among those who will take the oath on Saturday.
Others who will make it to the Karnataka cabinet are Kyathasandra N Rajanna,Sharanabasappa Darshanapur, Shivanand Patil, Ramappa Balappa Timmapur, SS Mallikarjun, Shivaraj Sangappa Tangadagi, Dr Sharanaprakash Rudrappa Patil, Mankal Vaidya, Laxmi Hebbalkar, Rahim Khan, D Sudhakar, Santosh Lad, NS Boseraju, Suresha BS, former CM S Bangarappa's son Madhu Bangarappa, Dr MC Sudhakar and B Nagendra.
According to Congress sources, Lakshmi Hebbalkar, Madhu Bangarappa, D Sudhakar, Cheluvaraya Swami, Mankul Vaidya and M C Sudhakar are considered close to Shivakumar.
Both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar have been in the national capital for the last three days and they have held several rounds of discussions.
The decision was finalised after hours of parleys between Siddaramaih and his deputy Shivakumar with top central leaders including AICC general secretaries K C Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi gave their final nod to the list which balances caste and regional equations in the southern state.
Earlier, the two Karnataka leaders also met Sonia Gandhi, for the first time after government formation in the state.
Differences between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar had emerged over names of probable ministers but these were sorted out during the discussions, the sources said.
Meanwhile, all the leaders left for Bengaluru from New Delhi for the oath-taking ceremony of the new ministers. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and his Jharkhand counterpart Hemant Soren also left with Shivakumar and Surjewala for Saturday's event.
The portfolios have not been allotted yet. However, according to minister K H Muniyappa, the portfolios of the ministers will be announced by Saturday evening.
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