New Delhi, May 26 (IANS): At least 20 to 24 new ministers are now scheduled to be inducted in the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in Karnataka on Saturday, party sources said on Thursday.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar had met party General Secretaries K.C. Venugopal and Randeep Singh Surjewala to discuss the cabinet expansion on Thursday.
The meeting of the four leaders lasted for over five hours in three sessions where the names of several MLAs for ministerial posts were discussed, the source said.
The source said that 20 to 24 more ministers will take oath on Saturday around 11.30 a.m.
However, senior leaders remained tight-lipped on the development.
The party source said that names of 20 to 24 probables were discussed and sent to party chief Mallikarjuna Kharge for taking a final call.
The source said that before leaving for Bengaluru, both the leaders will also meet former party chief Rahul Gandhi.
Along with Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar, who took oath on last Saturday in Bengaluru in presence of top party leaders and several prominent opposition leaders, eight more ministers -- G. Parmeshwara, K.H. Muniyappa, K.J. George, M.B. Patil, Satish Jarkiholi, Priyanka Kharge, Ramalimga Reddy and B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan -- had taken oath.
However, none of them have been allocated any portfolio yet.
A source said that the Congress will have to bring balance in the cabinet allocation as it needs to balance of demands of different communities in the cabinet.
The politically crucial Lingayat community, who voted in the favour of the party have claimed for the CM post, but in absence of a CM from the community, it is speculated that a chunk of ministerial berths will go to Lingayat MLAs.
The source said that most of the ministers are to be from the Siddamaraiah camp whereas Shivakumar will get at least three to four portfolios with two prominent departments.
The party source said that Krishna Byre Gowda, Laxman Savadi, Lakshmi Hebbalkar, Saleem Ahmed, Santosh Lad, Dinesh Gundu Rao, HK Patil, Eshwar Khandre, Tanveer Seth, Dr H.C.Mahadevappa, BK Reddy and BK Hariprasad are among the probable ministers in the list.
Siddaramaiah meets Sonia, Rahul ahead of cabinet expansion
Siddaramaiah met former party presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at their residence here on Friday, a day after meeting senior party leaders to discuss the cabinet expansion in the state.
Siddaramaiah, who had arrived in the national cabinet on Wednesday evening, met Sonia Gandhi for the first time after he took oath as the Chief Minister last Saturday in Bengaluru.
The meeting between the three leaders lasted for over 30 minutes during which they reportedly discussed fulfilling promises the party made to the people of the state and also to focus on governance.
It is also learnt that the leaders discussed the cabinet expansion in the state.