Karnataka Cabinet To Be Expanded Today: Six New Entrants As Congress Seeks To Quell Dissent Siddaramaiah (R) with Kumaraswamy (L) (Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Karnataka Chief Minister, H D Kumaraswamy, is expected to expand and reshuffle his six-month-old coalition Cabinet on Saturday evening as Congress high command finally gave its nod for dropping two ministers and inducting eight new faces under its quota, Deccan Herald has reported.

As per the agreement reached by the two partners at the time of formation of the coalition government in May, there are six vacant ministerial positions left for the Congress and two for the JD(S).

Two ministers -- Ramesh Jarkiholi (Municipal Administration) and R Shankar (Forest and Environment) -- are likely to be shown the door from the cabinet.

Ramesh Jakirholi’s ouster was on expected lines. In September this year, political circles in the state were agog with speculations of the plans of Jarkiholi brothers to engineer a revolt by refusing to go to Delhi for rapprochement with the party high command.

Jarkiholi brothers have been at at loggerheads with the water resources minister and powerful Congress leader, D K Shivakumar, who they accuse of expanding his influence to north Karnataka using his close aide, MLA Laxmi Hebalkar. Congress troubleshooters have managed to quell the dissent by driving a wedge between the two brothers, as Ramesh Jakirholi will now be replaced by his brother Satish Jarkiholi in the state cabinet.

Shankar, who contested and won as an independent from the Ranebennur Assembly segment, extended his support to the JD(S)-Congress coalition and was rewarded with a ministerial berth. However Congress is reportedly irked with him as he refused overtures to join the Congress as an associate member.

According to a statement issued by the office of Congress Legislature Party Leader, Siddaramaiah, Satish Jarkiholi (brother of Ramesh Jarkiholi and MLA from Yamakanamaradi), M.B Patil (Babaleshswar MLA), C S Shivalli (Kundgol MLA), R B Thimmapur (MLC from Bagalkot district), M T B Nagaraj (Hoskote), E Tukaram (Sandur), P T Parameshwar Naik (Hoovina Hadagali) and Rahim Khan (Bidar North) will be inducted in to the cabinet.

Under the Lingayat quota, three MLAs were in contention but the party high command has preferred M B Patil over B C Patil (Hirekerur) and B K Sangameshwara (Bhadravathi).
New ministers would be sworn in at 5.20 pm by Governor Vajubhai Vala at Raj Bhavan, the sources said.

Along with Cabinet expansion, the appointment of MLAs as heads to boards and corporations, and parliamentary secretaries to ministers would also be made Saturday, the source said.

Congress leader V Muniappa has been finalised as political secretary to the Chief Minister and Ajay Singh as state representative in the national capital, sources said, adding that Sharanabasappa Darshanapur has been nominated as the Deputy Chairman of state planning commission.

(with the inputs from PTI)

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