24 Ministers to be Sworn in on Saturday in Siddaramaiah's Karnataka Cabinet: Sources
New Delhi: According to sources, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's government is set to have 24 additional ministers who will take oath on Saturday. The names of the ministers have been finalized during a meeting between Siddaramaiah, his deputy DK Shivakumar, and central leaders of the party in Delhi. Ahead of the oath-taking ceremony, the Chief Minister is scheduled to meet Rahul Gandhi on Friday for final approval.
On May 20, Siddaramaiah and state Congress President DK Shivakumar were sworn in as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively. Alongside them, eight MLAs, including Priyank Kharge, son of Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, also took the oath for ministerial positions.
However, the allocation of portfolios has not been announced yet, which has drawn criticism from the BJP. In response, the Congress has referred to the time during the pandemic when Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa was the sole minister in the cabinet.
The task of forming the ministerial list and allocating portfolios will be challenging for the Congress as it seeks to balance and represent various communities. The Lingayat community, which holds significant political importance in the state, had claimed the Chief Minister's post due to its substantial contribution to the Congress's victory. In the absence of a Lingayat Chief Minister, there is speculation that several ministerial positions will be given to MLAs from the community.
With the general elections approaching next year, the Congress is under pressure to deliver on its pre-election promises and show quick results. Karnataka, with 28 Members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, is a crucial battleground state.
The Congress secured a significant victory in Karnataka's recent elections, winning 135 out of 224 seats. The BJP, which previously held power in the state, won 66 seats, while HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal Secular secured 19 seats. The Congress also witnessed an increase in its vote share from 38.1% in 2018 to 42.9% in the recent elections, primarily due to a decline in JD(S) votes from 18.3% to 13.3%. The BJP maintained its 36% vote share from 2018.