Bengaluru, DHNS: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday allocated the Housing portfolio to M Krishnappa, who was sworn-in as a Cabinet minister on September 5.
Krishnappa, who is a Congress MLA from Vijayanagar constituency in Bengaluru, has been picked by the party as replacement to actor-politician M H Ambareesh, a Vokkaliga. The ‘rebel’ star was removed as minister as part of a reshuffle of the council of ministers, a few months ago. Currently, one Cabinet berth is vacant in the 34-member council of ministers. The chief minister has already announced that the vacant berth is reserved for former minister K J George.
Krishnappa is a second-time MLA from Vijaynagar. He had was an MLC between 2000 and 2006.
He had unsuccessfully contested the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from the Bengaluru South constituency as the Congress candidate. A BSc graduate, Krishnappa is into real estate business. His son Priya Krishna is also a Congress MLA from Govindarajanagar constituency in Bengaluru.
The party’s decision to induct Krishnappa into the Cabinet came as a surprise to party leaders. Though many MLAs were lobbying for the berth, the chief minister reportedly did not have any plan to expand his ministry in the near future. But the party high command is learnt to have asked Siddaramaiah to induct Krishnappa into the ministry during his recent visit to Delhi. Sources in the Congress said senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Oscar Fernandes backed Krishnappa and managed to convince the high command to make him a minister. Parameshwara also extended his support to the Vijayanagar MLA. Dr K Sudhakar (Chikkaballapur), C P Yogeshwar (Channapatna), S T Somashekar (Yeshwantpur) and N H Shivashankar Reddy (Gauribidanur) were among the other MLAs lobbying for the berth.
The sources said the party high command has shown the green signal for re-inducting George soon if he gets a clean chit in the police officer M K Ganapathi suicide issue.
Ganapathi had accused George and three other police officers of being responsible for his death. Hence, George was forced to step down as minister recently.
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