As Congress leader Siddaramaiah is to swear in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka and KPCC President DK Shivakumar is slated to be Deputy Chief Minister of the state, the making of a Cabinet is ongoing back in Karnataka.
It is expected that some prominent leaders of the Congress may get portfolios when the new government is formed in the state, apart from Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar who are expected to keep key portfolios. According to a Congress source, Siddaramaiah is expected to hold on to Finance and Internal Security or State Intelligence Department portfolios.
The swearing in of the new Chief Minister and his Cabinet is most likely to be held on 20 May. Here are the top leaders whose names have emerged out of the 135 MLAs who won the 2023 Assembly elections for the Congress.
A Dalit leader who has found acceptance among both the Left-Hand and Right-Hand Dalits in Karnataka, Parameshwara had won from Koratagere in Tumkur district. In Karnataka, the Dalit vote had swung in favour of the Congress this time with the swing calculated to be over 10 percent when compared to 2018. The influence of the Dalit votes was the most visible in Hyderabad Karnataka region, which the Congress swept.
Mallanagouda Basanagouda Patil had risen to be an important Lingayat leader for the Congress this year. While the Lingayats have traditionally been voting for the BJP, in 2023 the dominant caste group supported the Congress in pivotal seats in Central Karnataka and Mumbai Karnataka regions. This is the fifth time he got elected from Babaleshwar constituency in Bijapur district.
MB Patil is expected to hold the same portfolio – Water Resources Department – he held in the last Siddaramaiah government.
A leader of Kerala origin, KJ George is expected to get the Bengaluru Development portfolio, just like he did the last time. In the past he had held portfolios including Home, Transport, Food and Civil Supplies, and Housing and Urban Development.
This time, George won from Sarvagnanagar constituency defeating the BJP’s Padmanabha Reddy by a margin of over 55,000 votes. The 73-year-old has been holding the constituency since his win in 2013.
An Adivasi leader from Nayaka community, Rajanna started his political career with the BJP in 1989 and later joined the Janata Dal (Secular). In 2008 he moved to the Congress and had lost Madhugiri constituency twice. However, in 2023, he won against MC Veerabhadraiah of the JD(S) from Madhugiri constituency. He is expected to be given the Social Welfare portfolio.
The MLA who got elected from Yemkanmadri for the fourth time in 2023, Satish Jakiholi is an Adivasi leader from Valmiki community. He is a sugar baron and his brother Ramesh Jarkiholi, a Congress turncoat who joined the BJP, got elected from Gokak constituency this year. The Jarkiholis is a business family which owns several sugarcane cultivating and sugar processing plants.
Satish Jarkiholi is expected to get the Industries portfolio.
Ramalinga Reddy won against BJP candidate KR Sridhara at BTM Layout Assembly constituency. His win was important for the Congress as the veteran leader wrested BTM Layout for two consecutive times from the BJP, after the seat was created out by a delimitation exercise in 2008. With his win in 2018, he became an eight-time MLA.
Ramalinga Reddy is expected to get the Public Works Department (PWD) portfolio.
His daughter Sowmya Reddy had lost by a narrow margin of 16 votes in Jayanagar constituency after a recount demanded by the BJP. After she lost Sowmya Reddy approached the Election Commission demanding a recount but the request was not granted.
Congress’ UT Khader retained the Mangaluru seat even amid a saffron sweep in Coastal Karnataka region. A senior Muslim leader whose family roots extend to Kerala, UT Khader had found a berth even in the 2013 Cabinet of Siddaramaiah. He is believed to have held fort in Mangaluru even in the height of saffron shawl protests against Muslim women’s rights to wear hijab.
UT Khader is expected to get Health and Family Welfare portfolio.