One more minister joins Karnataka cabinet

June 7th, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 7 (IANS) The week-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) council of ministers in Karnataka was expanded Saturday with the induction of party legislator Katta Subramanya Naidu as cabinet minister. Naidu was administered the oath of office by Governor Rameshwar Thakur at Raj Bhavan in the presence of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and other cabinet ministers. Naidu could not be sworn with the rest of the ministers May 30 as he was not keeping well.

With Naidu’s induction, the strength of the Yeddyurappa ministry has gone up to 31. As per the constitutional provision, the ministry’s strength is restricted to 34, which is equivalent to 15 percent of the 225-member legislative assembly, including one nominated member.

Yeddyurappa has no plan to fill the three remaining ministerial posts till the budget session, scheduled to commence June 23, ends by July 10.

Though Naidu was sworn in at a simple ceremony on the lawns of Raj Bhavan, hundreds of his supporters burst fire crackers and danced to the beat of drums outside the premises, choking the busy thoroughfare and blocking weekend traffic.

Naidu was elected to the state assembly from the Hebbal constituency in the city on a BJP ticket. He was minister for major industries in the 20-month-old, H.D. Kumaraswamy-led coalition government with the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) from February 2006 to October 2007.

The first BJP government in south India won the vote of confidence Friday by voice vote on the floor of the assembly amidst walk-out by the main opposition Congress after a two-hour acrimonious debate on the one-line motion.

The 110-member ruling party sailed through the trust vote by crossing the halfway mark of 113 members in the assembly, with the support of six independents. The Congress has 80 seats and JD-S 28.

To retain the support of independents crucial to the survival of the government, five of them were inducted into the ministry May 30, when the new government assumed office.

The allocation of portfolios is yet to take place, as the chief minister is waiting for approval from the party’s central leadership.

“BJP general secretary and in-charge of party affairs in Karnataka Arun Jaitley is expected to reach Bangalore late Saturday for finalising the list of portfolios to be allocated to the 31-member ministry,” party spokesperson and cabinet minister Suresh Kumar told IANS.

A preliminary list was prepared by Yeddyurappa in consultation with another party general secretary Ananth Kumar and the party’s state unit president Sadananda Gowda earlier in the day.

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