Karnataka gets five ministers in new NDA govt

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Bengaluru, Jun 9 (PTI) Five Parliamentarians from Karnataka including JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, BJP leaders Nirmala Sitharaman and Pralhad Joshi, who were part of the previous Cabinet, on Sunday took oath in the new NDA Council of Ministers headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Union Minister of State in the previous Modi government, Shobha Karandlaje, and former minister in the state government V Somanna -- both from BJP -- were also sworn in.

They were administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

While Sitharaman, Kumaraswamy and Joshi were given Cabinet rank, Karandlaje and Somanna were made Ministers of State.

Sitharaman represents Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha, while other four were elected to Lok Sabha in the recently concluded polls.

Kumaraswamy represents Mandya, Joshi was elected from Dharwad, Karandlaje -- Bangalore North, and Somanna --Tumkur.

Of the ministers, Kumaraswamy, who has been given a minister post from NDA partner JD(S)' quota, is from the dominant Vokkaliga community.

From the BJP's quota, while Sitharaman and Joshi are Brahmins, Karandlaje is a Vokkaliga, and Somanna is from Lingayat, another dominant community in the state.

For Kumaraswamy and Somanna, this is their first stint in the union government, while Sitharaman held the post of Finance and Corporate Affairs in the previous Modi government.

Joshi held portfolios of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, and Karandlaje was Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare in the previous NDA tenure.

Ahead of his swearing-in, Kumaraswamy said the prime minister has given him an opportunity to serve as a minister in his new Ministry, and gave people of "Kannada Naadu" credit for this.

The former chief minister, while maintaining that he has not placed a demand for any portfolio, reiterated his desire to be the Agriculture Minister.

Somanna, on his part, said he will honestly work towards fulfilling the expectations of the party leadership.

He also said that he has no expectations regarding the portfolio and will serve in the department assigned to him by the prime minister with the aim of ensuring that the government's benefits reach the people.

The NDA got 19 out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka, with BJP winning 17 and JD(S) in 2. The ruling Congress in the state has won nine seats. PTI KSU RS KH