Newly elected Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah’s ‘clean’ cabinet came into force on Saturday but not everyone in the Congress was cheering.
The 28 inducted ministers represented various communities and castes — 6 Vokkaligas, 5 Lingayats, 5 OBCs, 6 SC/STs, 2 Brahmins, 2 Muslim, 1 Christian, 1 Jain — but tainted leaders like former working president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee DK Shivakumar, former minister R Roshan Baig and mining baron Anil Lad were not included. Anil’s cousin Santosh Lad, who is also into mining, however made it to the ministry. Siddaramaiah and the Congress were under pressure from civil society groups to exclude leaders facing serious corruption charges from the ministry.
The supporters of some of these leaders ransacked party offices, held dharnas, blocked roads and one of them even tried to set himself ablaze to make their displeasure obvious.
Senior-most woman leader in the Congress, Motamma, stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony altogether.
After the oath-taking ceremony, the CM told media that he had asked his ministers to give the people of Karnataka a clean, corruption-less, transparent and able administration.
Among those who were inducted are film actress Umashree, who is the lone woman in the ministry, and four MLAs from Bangalore.
The ministry now has five vacancies. Siddaramaiah can accommodate a total of 33 ministers given the strength of the assembly, which is 224.