29 ministers to be sworn into Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai’s Cabinet today
At least 29 legislators will be sworn in as ministers in chief minister Basavaraj Bommai’s Cabinet on Wednesday, ending speculation around the new leadership that was necessitated to contain the simmering political crisis in Karnataka.
“Last night, final talks got over. List is ready now. I’ve sent it to Raj Bhavan. Twenty-nine ministers will take oath today [Wednesday],” Bommai said.
He added that there will be no deputy chief minister this time, which, according to political experts, appears to be a way not to antagonise any leader and community after Bommai was chosen over several others for the top post.
Bommai said that there are seven legislators from backward classes, three from scheduled castes, one from a scheduled tribe, seven Vokkaligas and eight Lingayats. Shashikala Jolle is the sole woman in the Cabinet.
Political experts said the delay in the Cabinet formation indicates the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre has taken over most decision-making processes in Karnataka.
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“For the last two days, all seniors have discussed this (Cabinet) in detail, and there are just two issues left,” Bommai said on Wednesday.
The issues that Bommai referred to likely include the number of deputy chief ministers and former chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s insistence on including his son, BY Vijayendra, in the Cabinet, people aware of the developments said.
The Central leadership of BJP, people aware of the developments said, is yet to warm up to the idea, which also mens that Vijayendra might be given a chance to contest the bypolls from Hangal in Haveri district.
Bommai said that Vijayendra is not in the existing list.
Meanwhile, BJP legislators rushed to Bengaluru--some in the hope of getting a call from the chief minister over their inclusion in the Cabinet and others to protest if their names were missing from the list.
“Sir, did you get a call?” was the most popular and frequently posed question by TV journalists camping at Vidhana Soudha since Wednesday morning.
The Opposition has criticised the BJP and Bommai for not prioritising the floods that have ravaged over 13 districts in the state and the imminent third wave of Covid- 19 infections.
Bommai, however, has been more fortunate than his mentor and predecessor, Yediyurappa, who was not given a Cabinet for over a month, leaving the then 76-year-old to handle one of the worst floods in the state in 2019 by himself.