Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said Ministers in his cabinet will soon be allocated portfolios, after the opposition BJP raised the issue in the state assembly.
The CM gave the assurance in the House, in response to a question raised by former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai of BJP, over the delay in allocation of portfolios to the Ministers.
Siddaramaiah and state Congress President D K Shivakumar were sworn in as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively along with eight legislators as Ministers on May 20. Portfolios have not been allocated to the Ministers since then.
As soon as the CM introduced the Ministers of his cabinet in the Assembly, Bommai intervened and said, "Happy that the Chief Minister has introduced Ministers to the House, they have all worked as Ministers in the past. Congratulations to the Chief Minister and all the Ministers, but it would have been appropriate if the Chief Minister had introduced Ministers after allocating portfolios to them saying -- D K Shivakumar is Minister for this, G Parameshwara is Minister for this."
"Why has it not happened? It should be done at the earliest, in my opinion if it is done at the earliest it will be good," he added.
Responding to this, Siddaramaiah, while assuring that portfolios will be allocated to Ministers soon, pointed out that BJP leader B S Yediyurappa in the past had served as the lone member of the cabinet for quite some time, before inducting Ministers.
"We will give them the responsibility at the earliest. How long was B S Yediyurappa alone in the cabinet as the Chief Minister? Mr Former Chief Minister (Bommai), you need not have any doubts, they (Ministers) will be given responsibility at the earliest," he said.
Reacting to this, Bommai said, "Yeddyurappa was alone sworn in then, so was alone, but in this case the Ministers have taken oath. You make them Minister and don't give them the responsibility, what will the people think? "
To this, the CM said, "No one will think anything, if you the opposition don't' think otherwise it will be enough." As Bommai said, he was speaking on behalf of the Ministers, Siddaramaiah replied by saying, "thank you for your suggestion."
Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar are separately leaving for New Delhi today, where they are expected to meet the Congress high command and discuss cabinet expansion, and allocation of portfolios to existing Ministers.