Karnataka Cabinet expansion: Protests break out as discontent spills out into the streets

PTI, May 27, 2023, 8:54 PM IST

Karnataka ministers taking oath of office (ANI)

Bengaluru: While joy swept Raj Bhavan as 24 ministers were sworn in on Saturday, the discontent among many senior legislators who were denied a ministerial position in the 34-member Cabinet of the Siddaramaiah government erupted in the form of protests outside.

Dejected supporters of the legislators who could not make it to the Cabinet raised slogans outside the Governor’s residence where the ministers took oath.

Apart from Bengaluru, protests were held in Sira in Tumakuru, Mysuru, Haveri, Kodagu and various other places as well, with many disgruntled legislators and their supporters voicing their discontent.

In Bengaluru, supporters of Vijayanagar MLA M Krishnappa gathered near Raj Bhavan and shouted slogans. They said the four-time MLA deserved the cabinet berth more than anyone else.

Similarly, the supporters of T B Jayachandra staged a demonstration outside Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s house alleging that a ”grave injustice” has been meted out to the Kunchitiga community as no representation was given to them.

A disgruntled Jayachandra said he would meet the party high command and seek justice.

In Mysuru, supporters of Narasimharaja MLA Tanveer Sait agitated holding banners and placards in support of their leader.

Similarly, senior MLCs B K Hariprasad and Saleem Ahmed too expressed their unhappiness at being denied ministerial positions.

MLAs who aspired to be ministers, such as Vijayanand Kashappanavar from Hungund in Bagalkote district and Laxman Savadi, who switched from the BJP to Congress and won from Athani constituency, were also upset.

According to reports, protests broke out in eight districts in the state including Haveri, Hassan and Kodagu, where the representatives of the constituencies did not get a berth in the Cabinet.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah clarified that there were certain parameters according to which first-time MLAs from the party are not inducted into the Cabinet.

”We didn’t make the first-time MLAs ministers,” Siddaramaiah explained.

Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar consoled the disgruntled legislators, telling them not to lose hope as they had scope in the future.

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