Three new entrants to BJP inducted in Karnataka ministry

July 10th, 2008 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Bangalore, July 10 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Thursday expanded his ministry inducting three people who recently joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party from the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S). With this expansion, the Yeddurappa ministry strength went up to 34, the maximum allowed under constitutional provisions.

Anand Asnotikar, Balachandra Jarkhiholi and Shivanagouda Naik were sworn in by Governor Rameshwar Thakur at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan here.

The three were elected to the assembly in the May polls, Asnotikar on Congress ticket and Jarkhiholi and Naik from JD-S.

All three quit the assembly and their parties last week and joined the BJP which has been surviving on the support of six independents, five of whom have been made cabinet ministers.

To reduce its dependence on the independents, the BJP has been wooing legislators from the Congress and the JD-S.

On Thursday one more Congress legislator, Kannada film actor Jaggesh quit the assembly and the party and joined the BJP. He has been promised nomination to contest parliamentary polls, whenever they are held.

Another Congress legislator, J. Narasimha Swamy, son of Congress Lok Sabha member and former union minister R.L. Jalappa, quit the assembly and joined the BJP Sunday. He has been made state slum clearance board chairman.

The BJP won 110 seats in the May polls to the 225-member assembly. It acquired majority with the support of six independents.

The Congress which won 80 seats has lost three members and the 28-strong JD-S two members to the BJP.

Upset by the BJP’s attempts to net its legislators, state Congress legislators held a meeting here Thursday and decided to launch a campaign against the ‘deserters’ in their constituencies.

The BJP has defended its action saying these legislators were quitting their party on their own as they are confident of developing their constituencies under the BJP rule in the state.

JD-S president and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda has urged the Congress to put up a united fight in the by-polls to defeat the ‘defectors’.

This and an understanding on jointly fighting general elections whenever they are held are likely to be the condition of Gowda for supporting the Manmohan Singh government in the event of its seeking confidence vote in the Lok Sabha in the coming days.

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