Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Friday divested Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara of the key Home Department and gave it to M B Patil as he allotted portfolios for new ministers from the Congress, seven days after their induction into the Cabinet.
The portfolios were cleared by Congress president Rahul Gandhi as the exercise had turned out to be tricky for the party’s State leaders, with the new inductees lobbying hard for plum departments and the senior ministers reportedly reluctant to shed their existing positions.
Parameshwara, who retains Bengaluru-related affairs, has been given additional charge of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, earlier held by Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Krishna Byre Gowda, along with IT and BT, Science and Technology, which was earlier held by Industries Minister K J George.
The youth Empowerment and Sports Department portfolio that Parameshwara had has been allocated to Rahim Khan. Reports had said that the meeting between top party leaders here Wednesday to decide on portfolios was not cordial as Parameshwara expressed displeasure over being asked to give up some key portfolios by Siddaramaiah.
However, both Siddaramaiah and Parameshwara had rubbished the reports that they had squabbled over the issue. Another prominent Minister D K Shivakumar retains Major and Medium Irrigation and has been given additional charge of Kannada and Culture, while the Medical Education portfolio that he had has been given to E Tukaram.
Kumaraswamy expanded his six-month-old cabinet on 22 December, inducting eight members from the Congress in the much-awaited exercise, that has also caused heartburn among several ministerial aspirants, who have now openly given vent to their anger.
Two ministers Ramesh Jarkiholi, accused of hobnobbing with the BJP and R Shankar, an independent lawmaker who was reluctant to be an associate member of the Congress, were dropped in the rejig.
The new inductees were Satish Jarkiholi, M B Patil, C S Shivalli, M T B Nagaraj, E Tukaram, P T Parameshwar Naik, Rahim Khan and R B Thimmapur, with seven of them picked from north Karnataka to address concerns of the region and counter the BJP in its area of influence.
Satish Jarkiholi has been given Forest, Ecology and Environment Department. P T Parameshwar Naik has been allotted Muzrai, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Livelihood. Municipalities and Local Bodies has been given to C S Shivalli, Housing to M T B Nagaraj, and Sugar to R B Thimmapur.
Other than Parameshwara and Shivakumar, Ministers who were relieved of additional portfolios include IT and BT, Scienceand Sugar from K J George, Skill Development from R V Deshpande, Housing from UT Khader, Law and Parliamentary Affairs from Krishna Byre Gowda, Muzrai from Rajashekhar B Patil and Kannada and Culture from Jayamala.