As ministers step in, Soudha springs back to life

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BANGALORE: In their new roles and with their tasks cut out, nearly a dozen ministers walked into the corridors of power on Monday. A day after portfolios were allocated, the buzz was back in the Vidhana Soudha. All the 28 ministers have been allocated office there. day after portfolios were allocated, nearly a dozen ministers without wasting time got going by occupying their offices in Vidhana Soudha, thus bringing life back to seat of power.

While some organized office-warming ceremonies sans glitz and glitter, almost all the ministers performed pooja before occupying their new office. However, housing minister MH Ambareesh chose to skip all ceremonies and entered his cabin on the second floor of the Soudha facing the high court. When one of his aides suggested that he at least adjust the seats according to vaastu, Ambareesh, in his inimitable style, chided him. In fact, the cine-star did not even bother to dust the chair before plonking on it. Asked whether there would be any change in his lifestyle, Ambareesh said, “When situation demanded, I have worked 24/7. Likewise, I have also rested and relaxed when there was no work. The housing portfolio demands round-the-clock work and I am ready to do it. Since my office is opposite the high court, it will act as a constant reminder that I function as per law,” he said.

While medical education minister Sharanprakash Patil, primary education minister Kimmane Ratnakar and water resources minister MB Patil occupied their offices in the morning, agriculture minister Krishna Byregowda, cooperation minister HS Mahadev Prasad, information and infrastructure minister Santosh Lad, transport minister Ramalinga Reddy, home minister K J George and food minister Dinesh Gundurao came in the evening.

Making his priorities clear, Ratnakar, who held a meeting with the department heads, said he plans to rope in the corporate sector to sponsor and fund the schools infrastructure development. “Infrastructure like toilets, good buildings and others are the need of the hour. As there are thousands of schools, fund crunch is evident. In consultation with the CM, I have planned to rope in 2-3 corporates in each district,” he said. Ratnakar, who represents the Malnad region, said his primary duty is to meet the target to provide books, uniforms and bicycles to students by June 1. “Action will be initiated if uniforms are not supplied within the deadline,” he said.

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