News headlines

Bangalore, Feb 16: The JD(S)-BJP coalition ministry in Karnataka headed by H D Kumaraswamy would be expanded on Friday February 17 with 18 members expected to be inducted.

Nine each from JD(S) and BJP are likely to take oath, sources in both parties said as their leaders came under heavy pressure with aspirants lobbying for berths, more so in BJP which is tasting power in the state for the first time.

Kumaraswamy of JD (S) and B S Yediyurappa of BJP were sworn-in as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively on February three under the BJP-JDS power-sharing formula of ruling the state for 20 months each.

The coalition partners have decided to go for ministry expansion in phases, apparently fearing discontent among aspirants who may not make it to the ministry.

Going by BJP's numerical strength of 79 in the assembly, JD(S) has allotted 18 ministerial berths to it, including the post of Deputy Chief Minister. JD(S) will have 15 berths, excluding the Chief Minister's post.

While the list of JD(S) ministerial nominees would be decided by Kumaraswamy, BJP was looking to its party high command in Delhi to finalize the list. Yediyurappa held consultations with party senior leaders.


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