Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will retain most key ministries in the newly formed state government, overseeing finance, cabinet affairs, the bureaucracy and intelligence, sources said on Saturday. Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar has been assigned the portfolios of irrigation and Bengaluru development, they added.
The new cabinet was expanded with the swearing-in of 24 ministers at the Raj Bhavan on Saturday, bringing the total number of ministers in the Congress government to its limit of 34. This number includes the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, who were sworn in last week.
The selection of ministers was being billed in media reports as a tug-of-war between Siddaramaiah and Mr Shivakumar, with the Chief Minister seeming to have a greater say in the final choices. A significant number of the new cabinet members, including 12 of the 24 new ministers, have no prior ministerial experience.
Among the newly inducted ministers, former All India Congress Committee (AICC) and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) functionary N Boseraju was a surprise inclusion. Mr Boseraju, who has worked as a key liaison between the state Congress and the high command, is not a member of either the Legislative Council or the Assembly.
The final list of ministers reflects a diverse representation across castes and regions, aligning with the principles of social justice. The caste breakdown includes eight Lingayats, seven from Scheduled Caste communities, five Vokkaligas, two Muslims, three from Scheduled Tribe communities, six from Other Backward Classes groups, one Maratha, one Brahmin, one Christian, and one Jain.
Veteran politicians H K Patil, Dr H C Mahadevappa, Eshwar Khandre, Sharanabasappa Darshanapur, and Shivanand Patil also made it to the final list, while some established names like R V Deshpande and T B Jayachandra were notably absent.
Six of the new ministers hail from the Bengaluru region. This includes Ramalinga Reddy, K J George, B Z Zameer Ahmed, Krishna Byregowda, Byrathi Suresh, and Dinesh Gundu Rao. N A Harris, a Muslim MLA from Bengaluru associated with Shivakumar, was reportedly edged out for the second Muslim slot in the Cabinet by Rahim Khan from Bidar North.
While the portfolios of the new ministers have been assigned, an official announcement is expected later in the day, sources said.