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K'taka Cabinet expansion on Feb 6, 13 MLAs will take oath: Yediyurappa

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday said the expansion of his ministry will take place on February 6 and 13 MLAs will take the oath of office.

Ten legislators who had joined the BJP from other parties, including the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), will be among those who will be inducted into the cabinet, he said. Yediyurappa had on January 31 received the nod from his party's central leadership for expanding his six-month-old cabinet.

The exercise has been on the cards ever since the BJP won 12 of the 15 seats in the December 5, 2019, assembly bypolls, helping the Yediyurappa government retain majority in the House.

"The cabinet expansion will take place on February 6 with the oath-taking ceremony at the Raj Bhavan at 10.30 am," the chief minister told reporters here.

Thirteen MLAs, including 10 who had joined the BJP from other parties, including Congress and JD(S), will take the oath of office, he said.

Earlier, Yediyurappa had said that most of the disqualified JD(S)-Congress MLAs who got re-elected in the bypolls on BJP tickets would be made ministers, but there would not be additional deputy chief ministers.

He had given an assurance to all 11 re-elected legislators that they would be made ministers.

On Sunday, Yediyurappa acknowledged that he could not have come to power if the 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs had not been disqualified, but cited limitations in inducting all of them into the cabinet.

He, however, reiterated that whatever promises he had made to the disqualified MLAs will be fulfilled.

Asked about former Rane Bennur MLA R Shankar, who was disqualified from the assembly and not given a BJP ticket in the December bypolls, Yediyurappa said he will be made an MLC first and a minister later.

On A H Vishwanath and M T B Nagaraj, who had joined the BJP and unsuccessfully contested the bypolls from Hunasuru and Hoskote respectively, the chief minister said, "According to the Supreme Court order, those who lost the elections cannot be made (ministers)."

The announcement dealt a blow to the MLAs who had defected from the Congress and the JD(S) and were instrumental in helping the BJP secure a majority in the Karnataka Assembly.

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