BENGALURU: It’s been five days since independents R Shankar and H Nagesh took oath as ministers, but they still have not been allocated portfolios by “busy” chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. Officials in the CM’s office have trotted out the same excuse since Friday — when the ministers took oath — every time they have been asked about it. “The chief minister has been on tour ever since cabinet expansion took place. He hasn’t found the time to allocate portfolios,” they say. However, sources in the government say Nagesh is insisting on a plum portfolio and it is this which is causing the delay. Nagesh is eyeing either energy or the primary and secondary education ministry, but Kumaraswamy, who currently holds both portfolios, is reluctant to give either of them to an independent. As per the agreement, the Congress will have to give one portfolio to Shankar from its share, while Nagesh will get his from the JD(S). Kumaraswamy is said to have offered Nagesh textiles, but the offer was rejected. “He is likely to get primary education which has been vacant since the resignation of BSP’s N Mahesh seven months ago,” sources said. Kumaraswamy is also under pressure to appoint a minister to the department, which accounts for about 40% of state government employees. State JD(S) president H Vishwanath on Tuesday also urged Kumaraswamy to appoint a minister to the department. “Both were inducted to save the government,” Vishwanath said. “No having work is humiliating for the ministers.” Shankar is likely to get the department of municipalities and local bodies, a portfolio held by the late CS Shivalli.
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June 10, 2019
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