S R Patil to be sworn in minister today

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Bangalore, May 24: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will expand his council of minister by inducting senior MLC S R Patil as a minister on Saturday. Patil would be the only member from the Upper House get a ministerial berth for now.

The swearing-in ceremony will be held at 10.30 am in Raj Bhavan.

With the induction of Patil, the strength of the council of ministers will touch 30. In the first round of the ministry formation, the chief minister inducted 28 ministers, 20 of the Cabinet rank and eight of ministers of state rank, with independent charge.

Patil, sources said, would be sworn-in as cabinet rank minister

The 65-year-old Patil, a senior Congress leader from Bagalkot district belongs to the Lingayat community. A law graduate, Patil is an MLC for the third term. His present term will end in 2016.

He has restricted his political activities to Bilagi in Bagalkot district. Patil was CMD of Bilagi Sugar Mills, president of Bapuji Souharda Co-operative Bank, President of Bilagi Taluk Primary Land Development Bank and president of Bagalkot Development Authority.

Leader of the House

After appointing Patil as the minister, four more berths will remain vacant. There is too much pressure on Siddaramaiah as well as the party high command  from  seniors such as D K Shivakumar, A Manju and Motamma to make them as ministers.

The chief minister had no choice but to accommodate at least one MLC as minister because an MLC-cum-minister will have to function as the leader of the House in the Council.

Main representative

The leader of the House will have to function as the main representative of the government while handling questions and issues raised in the House. When the BJP was in power, Patil was the leader of the Opposition, while the then Housing Minister and MLC V Somanna was the leader of the House.

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