July 10:The BJP ministry in Karnataka led by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurapa was today expanded with the induction of three more ministers of cabinet rank. Governor Rameshwar Thakur administered the oath of office and secrecy to Balachandra Laxmanrao Jarakiholi, K Shivanagouda Naik and Asnotikar Anand Vasanth at a brief ceremony held at Rajbhavan in Bangalore.
With this second expansion, the ministry’s strength rose to 34, the maximum stipulated for the state under the constitution. Yeddyurappa and his cabinet colleagues were present on the occasion.
The three had defected from Congress and JDS last week to join the BJP. They had quit their assembly memberships to avoid attraction of provisions of anti-defection laws.
AIR Correspondent Sudhindra reports that the inflow towards BJP of MLAs belonging to other parties continues in Karnataka. Today an MLA from Congress Jaggesh joined the party. Till now five MLAs, three from Congress and two from JD(S) have joined BJP. Out of which three have been given the Cabinet berth and another Chairmanship of the Slum Clearance Board. This has enraged a few of the BJP MLAs who are denied a Cabinet berth on one hand and on the other provoked the Opposition parties whose MLAs have joined BJP. The Independents who supported the Government earlier are worried too. This migration from one party to another was seen before the election. But nobody thought it will continue even after the election is over. This idea of circumventing the anti-defection law has compelled people to think that another amendment is needed to further tighten the provisions of this law.