New Delhi: After much squabbling over the expansion of Karnataka cabinet, as many as 10 rebel MLAs who had won the bypolls in December on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tickets after switching loyalties from Congress and JDS are set to take oath as ministers in the cabinet expansion that is slated to take place on Thursday.
The swearing-in ceremony of the new ministers is scheduled to take place at 10:30 AM at Raj Bhavan.
After holding multiple meetings with the BJP president as well as other central party leaders, only 10 members will take oath tomorrow, said Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa speaking to reporters. “I will meet our leaders in Delhi and we will then take the decision to include others in the cabinet, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on state cabinet expansion,” he said.
Yediyurappa had earlier said that all 13 legislators who had dejected from Congress-JDS would be sworn in, however, the dynamics appear to have changed within the BJP in state. As of now, Athani MLA Mahesh Kumathalli and Umesh Katti have been left out of the second cabinet expansion.
Clarifying the reason for the same, CM Yediyurappa said, “There is no doubt about Umesh Katti’s inclusion in the cabinet, he will be given a ministerial berth but it is difficult to induct him into the cabinet in this expansion. I will speak to him, he will be given a big responsibility.”
However, earlier today, Mahesh Kumatalli, the lone turncoat who has been denied a ministerial post, expressed his disappointment but said he continues to stand by the party nonetheless. To this, Yediyurappa said that he will personally call Kumatalli to explain why he has not been made a minister.
Meanwhile, preparations for the induction seemed afoot as swanky new cars were bought for the new ministers and lined up at a government guest house. They all sported number plates with the digits containing number ‘9’ or adding up to nine, considered auspicious by many.
The Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms has bought the white colour SUVs for the ministers who would take oath in the expansion of the six-month-old cabinet, sources in the Kumarakurupa Guest House said.
KR Pet MLA KC Narayana Gowda tipped to be inducted as a minister, said his choice had been number nine for all his cars. “All my cars have the registration number adding to nine. I came here to check whether the vehicles lined up here has the number,” he told reporters.