Bengaluru: After months of talks, backroom manoeuvrings threats and bickering, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa Wednesday expanded his 17-month-old cabinet inducting seven lawmakers.

Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office to Hukkeri legislator Umesh Katti, Bilgi MLA Murugesh Nirani, Members of Legislative Council MTB Nagaraju, CP Yogeeshwar and R Shankar alias Pendulum Shankar, Mahadevapura MLA Aravind Limbavalli and Sullia MLA S Angara.

The CM dropped excise minister H Nagesh from the cabinet.

Yediyurappa’s joy at expanding his cabinet was, however, short-lived. Several legislators openly opposed some of the names suggested by the CM.

Karnataka MLC Vishwanath told the media openly that “Yogeshwar is a fraud. There are many criminal cases against him. He has cheated many in real estate and today he is a minister. He was carrying our bags when we resigned as MLAs. He is a minister now.”

MLA from Mysore, Ramadoss said in a tweet, “I started my journey as Mysore youth president and have served as state youth president twice. Loyally, I have worked for the party for 28 years. 11 MLAs in my region, 10 of them have gone to other parties. Party is my mother. I am a swayamsevak. It is against me to become a minister by using other methods. This is an injustice to the Mysore region. Anyone from the district could have become a minister.”

The state government’s chief whip in the Karnataka Assembly, Sunil Kumar Karkala said in a tweet: “My agenda is party loyalty, Hindutva and constituency development. Never did caste politics, never knew extravaganza politics, never blackmailed for posts. Will not do this in future too.”

M Sathish Reddy, MLA from Bommanahalli, said “Mr Yediyurappa, what is the yardstick for cabinet expansion? Can you not see honest young workers? Our concerns were always heard by Ananth Kumar Ji. His absence is felt today.”

BJP legislator from Ron in Gadag district, Kalakappa Bandi tweeted, “I am a loyal soldier of the party. I’m not happy with cabinet expansion. There’s a need to relook at this.”

A prominent name that did not make it to the cabinet was Rajarajeshwari Nagar MLA Munirathna Naidu. BJP sources said that the high command did not want to give him a berth as he has several criminal cases pending against him. Besides, the cabinet currently has several ministers from Bengaluru.

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