Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Thursday administered the oath of office to 10 new ministers as part of the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s cabinet expansion.
Constituency-wise, the newly inducted ministers at the Raj Bhavan included Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapura), Shrimanth Patil (Kagwad), B.C. Patil (Hirekerur), Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Narayana Gowda (KR Pete), K. Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout), S.T. Somashekar (Yeshwantpur), Byrathi Basavaraj (KR Puram), K. Sudhakar (Chikkaballapura) and Anand Singh (Vijayanagara).
Among the new ministers, Gopalaiah is said to have a stronghold in his constituency Mahalakshmi Layout with the ability to attract Janata Dal (Secular) voters into the BJP fold.
Sudhakar from Chikkaballapura is known for getting a medical college sanctioned and developmental work in the constituency.
Hailing from the Vokkaliga community, Sudhakar is expected to be a strength to the ruling party as he has no strong competition in the region.
The BJP hopes to use Patil from Belagavi region to help convert Congress votes in favour of the ruling party.
Hebbar from Yellapura constituency hails from the Brahmin community with influence in Uttara Kannada. He has the financial muscle and connects with the grassroots.
Gowda from the Vokkaliga community made inroads into Mandya region. Using his influence, BJP aims to strengthen its support base in old Mysuru region.
Gowda is being projected as a Vokkaliga strongman from the old Mysuru region.
As one of the richest lawmakers, Basavaraj from KR Puram constituency is expected to fund the party.
Jarkiholi is a powerful leader from Belagavi region where BJP aspires to make inroads. Hailing from the Valmiki community, Jarkiholi has a significant vote base, with influence in the neighbouring constituencies.
Vala welcomed the new ministers into Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa’s cabinet with a bouquet after completing their swearing-in.
Meanwhile, some disgruntled leaders skipped the oath taking ceremony at the Raj Bhavan.
Taking a dig at the BJP, Karnataka Congress tweeted, “By leaving out turncoat Kumtahalli, Yediyurappa has cheated the promise made to the electorate.”
“It proves BJP uses people to come to power and then dumps them. They will be in shock now,” said the Congress.
Mahesh Kumtahalli who left the Congress and joined the BJP was a ministry hopeful.
In the December 5 by-elections in 15 assembly segments, the BJP won 12, the opposition Congress two and one by an Independent.