Bangalore, May 25: Member of Legislative Council S R Patil was sworn-in as minister by Governor H R Bhardwaj at the Raj Bhavan, here on Saturday.
A total of 30 ministerial berths, including that of the chief minister, have been filled up, leaving four vacant.
Patil is yet to be given a portfolio.
Patil, 65, is the only MLC to become a minister in Siddaramaiah’s council of ministers. He took oath in the name of his mother. He has been made minister after much deliberation on who should represent the government in and become the leader of the Upper House.
When Siddaramaiah was sworn-in as chief minister at Kanteerava Stadium, there was utter chaos in and outside the venue. A Congress worker had died of heart attack at the venue.
On Saturday, everything was well organised, with no maddening crowd inside or outside Raj Bhavan, when Patil completed the constitutional obligation. The entire event lasted just a few minutes. His family members and followers were present in good numbers, leaving the small room where the ceremony was organised jam-packed.
Siddaramaiah, ministers T B Jayachandra, H K Patil and MLC Veeranna Mattikatti were among those who were present. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G Parameshwara too made it.
MLC Motamma, who was keen on becoming a minister, was not present at the ceremony. Former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda too was present. Leaders of Opposition parties had kept off the swearing-in ceremony of Siddaramaiah as well as that of the 28 ministers.
Speaking to the media after his oath-taking ceremony, Patil, who is a law graduate, said there needs to be an increased representation for MLCs in the government.
“I am the first. I hope the there will be more MLCs who will be inducted. We (MLCs) are people who have experience in various fields. I believe we can give equally good administration, if not better, compared to those from the Lower House,” he said.
Patil expressed willingness to take any responsibility which the chief minister assigns him.
He said that as a minister, he was hoping to ensure that the Congress government keeps its promise of developing Krishna river, which is a lifeline to 105 taluks.
“When the padayatra was taken out in North Karnataka, the Congress party had vowed to provide proper channels and facilities to Krishna river. We need to adhere to those promises and spend Rs 10,000 crore in the next three years to help develop the taluks that need immediate attention in terms of drinking water,” he said.
Parameshwara, who is billed by party workers as the ‘unlucky leader,’ said his goal for the party was to take it into the next Lok Sabha elections in ‘high spirits’.When reporters asked him whether he would be the candidate for the Rajya Sabha election, which has become necessary following the resignation of Anil Lad, Parameshwara dodged the question, saying he was a loyal worker of the party. “The goal for the party is to win 27 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the next elections,” he said.