Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy carried out the first expansion of his cabinet on Wednesday, including nine leaders from the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD (S) and 14 of the Congress in the coalition government as well as one each from the BSP and the KPJP.
H.D. Revanna, son of JDS chief and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda and state senior Congress leaders D.K. Shivakumar were among those who took the oath. Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at a ceremony in Raj Bhavan.
The new ministers took oath after days of hectic parleying between the ruling coalition partners, the JD(S) and the Congress. The two rival parties had stitched up a post-poll alliance at the state level after the May 12 assembly polls yielded a fractured mandate, in order to keep the single largest party, the BJP, out of power in the state.
Actor-turned-politician Jaimala Ramachandra from the Congress took the oath of office too. She is the only woman MLA to be sworn in today. She created a controversy in 2006 by claiming to have entered the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala during her prime and touching the idol of the presiding deity.
The sources said earlier that the Congress, which had a long list of ministerial aspirants, is likely to keep four or five berths vacant. This is part of a strategy to meet any exigencies of dissidence that may crop up after the expansion. The JD(S), too, has decided not to fill all its Cabinet berths in one go.