DV Sadananda Gowda: Karnataka’s share in Union cabinet up to 6 despite Sadananda Gowda’s exit | Bengaluru News – Times of India
Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje, Chitradurga MP A Narayanaswamy and Bidar MP Bhagwant Khuba took oath as ministers of state at a simple ceremony in Delhi.
With this, Karnataka’s share in the Union cabinet has gone up to six, including parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is a Rajya Sabha member from the state.
Like DV Sadananda Gowda, Karandlaje belongs to the politically influential Vokkaliga community in southern Karnataka. Khuba’s induction is being seen as a move to ensure Lingayat representation in the cabinet following the death of Suresh Angadi, who was minister of state for railways until last September when he died of Covid-19.
Narayanaswamy’s induction is being seen as part of the party’s strategy to further consolidate its “Dalit left vote base”. Rajeev Chandrasekhar brings the heft of a tech entrepreneur. This is the first time in recent times that Karnataka has got maximum representation at the Centre. BJP had won 25 of 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Hours before the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Gowda resigned as chemicals and fertilisers minister. Joshi was retained by Modi.
Party insiders said Gowda’s exit is being seen in the light of poor handling of the supply of remdesivir and shortage of oxygen during the second wave of Covid-19.
This is the second time that Gowda has been dropped from Modi’s ministry. The first was in 2016 after a two-year stint. Besides chemicals and fertilisers, Gowda, who represents Bengaluru North constituency, has also held portfolios like railways, law, statistics, and programme implementation. He had taken over the ministry in November 2018 after the demise of former minister Ananth Kumar.
The seniority of MPs which used to be a prime criterion for theselection of ministers has been given a go-by.
“It is a well-thought-out selection with an eye on the 2023 polls. By choosing one or two-time MPs over seniors who have won more than three times, the PM has made this clear,” said a BJP functionary privy to the cabinet rejig developments.
He also credited BJP national general secretary BL Santosh for the shift. The party’s central leadership is trying to groom new leadership in the state, he said.