One more to be inducted in Siddaramaiah ministry Saturday

Bangalore, May 24 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will induct Congress legislator S. R. Patil into his ministry Saturday, four days ahead of the state legislature's first session after the party wrested power from BJP early this month.

"Patil will be sworn-in tomorrow (Saturday) by Governor H. R. Bhardwaj," the chief minister told reporters here Friday, a day after he got Congress president Sonia Gandhi's approval to take the party leader in the legislative council to the ministry.

Patil's Saturday entry to the ministry followed protest by Congress members of the legislative council that none from the state's upper house of legislature has been made a minister by the party.

Siddaramaiah, who took office May 13, had inducted 28 Congress legislators, all members of the assembly, to the ministry last Saturday.

In the 75-member legislative council, the Congress has 17 members and is in minority. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which lost power in the May 5 assembly poll, is in majority with 40 members, including the chairman of the house.

Patil, 64, was the leader of the opposition in the council.

After Patil's induction Saturday, the ministry will have four vacancies as Karnataka can have a 34-member ministry including the chief minister as per the Constitutional arrangement.

The Congress returned to power on its own after nine years in the state winning 121 seats in the 225-member assembly in the poll held May 5 and results announced May 8.

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