.........BENGALURU: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reported plans for expansion of his ministry has raised hopes of greater representation for Karnataka in the Union cabinet.
Karnataka now has three members in Modi ministry --Chemicals and Fertilizers minister Ananth Kumar, Programme Implementation and Statistics Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, both of cabinet rank, and Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ramesh Jigajinagi.
According to BJP sources, Karnataka, which is headed for Assembly polls in the next eight months, is almost certain to get one or two additional slots in the ministry.
The dominant Lingayat community, which has solidly stood behind BJP, is assured of a berth as the community has no representation in the Modi ministry after G M Siddeshwar resigned. Belagavi MP Suresh Angadi and Rajya Sabha member Prabhakar Kore’s names are doing the rounds for the berth, though Shivakumar Udasi (Haveri) too is said to be in the reckoning.
According to party sources, Sadananda Gowda is also expected to get a meatier portfolio with greater public connect as part of the moves to woo the Vokkaliga community. The move is being anticipated as he has been given an insignificant portfolio after divesting him of the Railways ministry.
The chances of Lok Sabha member from Dakshina Kannada, Nalin Kumar Katil making it to Modi’s team, is also said to be high if the PM decides to offer two additional slots for Karnataka as the coastal region has been left without any representation in the ministry. Udupi-Chikkamagalur MP Shohba Karandlaje too could be a contender for the second berth.
Agitation from today for DKS ouster
BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa and former Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok will lead a ‘Vidhana Soudha Chalo’ march demanding the resignation of ‘corrupt’ ministers in the Siddaramaiah ministry on Friday. Thousands of BJP workers and leaders will participate in the march from Freedom Park and lay siege to Vidhana Soudha demanding the resignation.