Karnataka will have a full-fledged cabinet with 34 ministers, with 24 new ministers being inducted on Saturday. Exactly a week after the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar took oath of office along with eight other ministers, the party picked 24 more ministers, who took oath on Saturday at Rajbhavan.
The party leadership held elaborate discussions with both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar who lobbied hard to secure a cabinet berth for their loyalists. With the party going for a mix of old and new faces, there has been resentment among senior leaders like R.V. Deshpande, Basavaraj Rayareddi, Tanveer Sait, N.A. Haris, Saleem Ahmed, T.B. Jayachandra, B.K. Hariprasad, Prakash Rathod and Ajay Singh who have been denied a berth.
Partyhopper Laxman Savadi, who quit the BJP on being denied a ticket from Athani and won the seat on a Congress ticket, was excluded from the cabinet. Savadi's exit from the saffron party was said to be a major factor in mobilising Lingayat votes in favour of the Congress.
With this expansion, the representation of Lingayat community in the state cabinet is eight, Vokkaliga 5, SC 6, ST 3, OBC 6, Muslim 2, and one each to Brahmin, Jain, Reddy and Christian. Twenty-one of the 31 districts have been represented in the cabinet.
The party choosing former legislator N.S. Boseraju has upset the senior leaders and MLCs including Leader of the Opposition in Council B.K. Hariprasad and KPCC's Saleem Ahmed. As per the norms, Boseraju, who is not a member of either House, needs to get elected within six months to the Upper House after which he would become the leader of the House.
Laxmi Hebbalkar is a two-time MLA from Belagavi Rural constituency, who has served as the state women's Congress chief. A close aide of KPCC chief Shivakumar, Hebbalkar belongs to the Panchamasali Lingayat community. This time, she fought hard to retain her seat in a prestige battle with her political rival and BJP MLA from Gokak Ramesh Jarkiholi, who had vowed to defeat her and aggressively campaigned for BJP's Nagesh Manolkar. In a triangular fight between the two national parties and the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, Hebbalkar won with a margin of 54,000 votes.
Eshwar Khandre, 61, working president of KPCC, is a four-time MLA from Bhalki (Bidar) who served as municipal administration minister in the previous Siddaramaiah government. He belongs to the Lingayat community.
Shivanand Patil, 59, is a three-time MLA from Basavana Bagewadi. The Lingayat leader served as health minister in the JD(S)-Congress coalition led by H.D. Kumaraswamy.
Rahim Khan, 57, is a two-time MLA from Bidar and has served as youth empowerment and sports minister in the JD(S)-Congress coalition government.
Dr H.C. Mahadevappa, 70, is a dalit leader and three-time MLA from T. Narsipura (Mysuru), who has served as PWD minister in the previous Siddaramaiah government.
S.S. Mallikarjun, 55, is a two-time MLA from Davangere North and a former minister in the Siddaramaiah cabinet, and belongs to the Lingayat community. He is the son of senior Congressman and Davangere South MLA Shamanuru Shivashankarappa.
N. Cheluvaraya Swamy, 62, is a former MP from Mandya and a four-time MLA from Nagamangala, who has served as a transport minister. The Vokkaliga leader quit the JD(S) to join the Congress ahead of the 2018 assembly elections, when he lost the seat.
Sharanabasappa Darshanapura, 62, is a five-time MLA from Shahpur (Yadgir) and has served as a minister in the cabinets of J.H. Patel and H.D. Kumaraswamy. He belongs to the Lingayat community.
K. Venkatesh is a six-time MLA from Periyapatna and belongs to the Vokkaliga community. A close aide of Siddaramaiah, he quit the JD(S) in 2006 to join the Congress.
Krishna Byregowda, 50, is a six-time MLA from Vemgal and Byatrayanpura. The Vokkaliga leader has served as a minister in the cabinets of Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah.
Boseraju, 74, a former legislator from Manvi (Raichur) constituency was denied a ticket to contest the elections. However, the party has picked Boseraju, who belongs to the small Raju (OBC) community. Boseraju is the AICC secretary incharge for Telangana.
K.N. Rajanna, 72, a former MLC and two-time MLA from Madhugiri (Tumkur) belongs to the ST community.
Shivaraj Thangadagi, 51, is a two-time MLA from Kanakagiri (Koppal) and belongs to the Bhovi (SC) community which was upset over the Bommai government pushing for internal quota among the SC community in its last cabinet meeting. Thangadagi has served as a minor irrigation minister in the previous Siddaramaiah government.
R.B. Thimmapura, 58, is a former MLC and minister who defeated BJP minister Govind Karjol in the 2023 Assembly polls from Mudhol. Thimmapura who belongs to the SC (Left) community has served as a minister in the Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy cabinet.
Mankal Vaidya, 50, is a two-time MLA from Bhatkal (Uttara Kannada) and belongs to the fishermen community.
Dr Sharanprakash Patil, 56, is a four-time MLA from Sedam in Kalburgi. The Lingayat leader served as the medical education minister in the previous Siddaramaiah government.
D. Sudhakar, 62, is a four-time MLA from Chitradurga, who defeated BJP's Poornima Srinivas in Hiriyur in 2023. Sudhakar, who was an independent MLA served as social welfare minister in the B.S. Yediyurappa government in 2008. He joined Congress ahead of the 2013 polls. He belongs to the Jain community.
Byrati Suresh, 50, is a two-time MLA, a Kuruba leader and close aide of CM Siddaramaiah. Suresh gave up his MLC seat in 2018 to get elected from Hebbal assembly constituency.
Santosh Lad, 48, is a four-time MLA from Sandur, who quit the JD(S) to join the Congress in 2007. Lad who belongs to Maratha community served as a minister in the previous Siddaramaiah cabinet.
Dr M.C. Sudhakar, a three-time MLA from Chintamani (Chikkaballapur) belongs to the Vokkaliga community.
B. Nagendra, 51, is a four-time MLA from Ballari. This elections he won from Ballari rural seat, while he was the BJP MLA from Kudligi from 2008 to 2018. A former aide of the tainted mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy, he belongs to the Valmiki (ST) community.
Dinesh Gundu Rao, 53, is a five-time MLA from Gandhinagar. Rao, who belongs to the Brahmin community, has served as the KPCC chief and food and civil supplies minister in the Siddaramaiah cabinet. He is in charge of the AICC in Goa, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.
Madhu Bangarappa, 56, won the Soraba (Shivamogga) seat after defeating his brother and BJP candidate Kumar Bangarappa. Madhu is the son of former chief minister late S. Bangarappa, an OBC (Ediga community) leader, who had won the seat on a JD(S) ticket in 2013 and joined the Congress in 2021.