Bengaluru, May 26: A week after assuming power in Karnataka, the Congress on Friday released the list of 24 legislators who will be sworn-in as ministers on May 26 to fill up all the vacant ministerial positions.

The cabinet expansion will take place on Saturday noon with their swearing-in ceremony, according to Congress leaders.

The Karnataka government can have 34 ministers. While 10 of them including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy D K Shivakumar were sworn-in on March 20, the rest will be inducted on Saturday.

Senior MLA H K Patil, Krishna Byregowda, N Cheluvarayaswamy, K Venkatesh, Dr H C Mahadevappa, Congress working president Eshwar Khandre and former Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao are among those who will take the oath on Saturday.

Others who will make it to the Karnataka cabinet are Kyathasandra N Rajanna,Sharanabasappa Darshanapur, Shivanand Patil, Ramappa Balappa Timmapur, S S Mallikarjun, Shivaraj Sangappa Tangadagi, Dr Sharanaprakash Rudrappa Patil, Mankal Vaidya, Laxmi Hebbalkar, Rahim Khan, D Sudhakar, Santosh Lad, N S Boseraju, Suresha B S, former CM S Bangarappa's son Madhu Bangarappa, Dr M C Sudhakar and B Nagendra.

According to Congress sources, Lakshmi Hebbalkar, Madhu Bangarappa, D Sudhakar, Cheluvaraya Swami, Mankul Vaidya and M C Sudhakar are considered close to Shivakumar.

Both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar have been in the national capital for the last three days and they have held several rounds of discussions.

The decision was finalised after hours of parleys between Siddaramaih and his deputy Shivakumar with top central leaders including AICC general secretaries K C Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi gave their final nod to the list which balances caste and regional equations in the southern state.

Earlier, the two Karnataka leaders also met Sonia Gandhi, for the first time after government formation in the state.

Differences between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar had emerged over names of probable ministers but these were sorted out during the discussions, the sources said.

Meanwhile, all the leaders left for Bengaluru from New Delhi for the oath-taking ceremony of the new ministers. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and his Jharkhand counterpart Hemant Soren also left with Shivakumar and Surjewala for Saturday's event.

The portfolios have not been allotted yet. However, according to minister K H Muniyappa, the portfolios of the ministers will be announced by Saturday evening.

 

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Mumbai (PTI): BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Friday rejected claims that the Board has approached any former Australian cricketer to be India's next head coach and hinted that Rahul Dravid's successor could be an Indian by saying that he should have a "deep understanding" of the game's structure in the country.

While Dravid has reportedly told the board that he is not interested in a third stint, former Australian players like Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer have claimed that they have turned down approaches for the high-profile position.

"Neither I nor the BCCI have approached any former Australian cricketer with a coaching offer. The reports circulating in certain media sections are completely incorrect," Shah said in a statement.

Both Ponting and Langer are involved in the Indian Premier League as the head coaches of Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants respectively. World Cup-winning former batting star Gautam Gambhir, who is currently mentoring Kolkata Knight Riders, is speculated to be among the top contenders for the post right now.

"Finding the right coach for our national team is a meticulous and thorough process. We are focused on identifying individuals who possess a deep understanding of the Indian cricket structure and have risen through the ranks," Shah said.

The BCCI secretary also said that having in-depth knowledge of Indian domestic cricket will be one of the important criteria for appointing the next coach. He said the understanding would be crucial to "truly elevate Team India to the next level."

Ponting had claimed on Thursday that he was approached to take over the role but said that he declined as it did not fit with his "lifestyle" right now.

Ponting told ICC review, "I've seen a lot of reports about it. Normally these things pop up on social media before you even know about them, but there were a few little one-on-one conversations during the IPL, just to get a level of interest from me as to whether I would do it."

"I'd love to be a senior coach of a national team, but with the other things that I have in my life and wanting to have a bit of time at home…everyone knows if you take a job working with the Indian team you can't be involved in an IPL team, so it would take that out of it as well," he said.

Taking up the job of coaching India also implies spending 10-11 months away from home but Ponting said his family seemed ready for it.

"...I had a whisper to my son about it, and I said, 'Dad's been offered the Indian coaching job' and he said, 'Just take it, dad, we would love to move over there for the next couple of years'" he said.

"That's how much they love being over there and the culture of cricket in India, but right now it probably doesn't exactly fit into my lifestyle," Ponting said.

Meanwhile, Langer, who had remained noncommittal about applying for India coaching role after IPL clash between LSG and Mumbai Indians, said he would "never say never" but at the same time revealed receiving crucial advice from Lucknow skipper KL Rahul.

Langer told BBS Stumped Podcast, ”It would be an amazing job. I also know that it's an all-encompassing role, and having done it for four years with the Australian team, honestly, it's exhausting. And that's the Australian job.”

"You never say never. And the pressure of doing it in India… I was talking to KL Rahul and he said, 'You know, if you think there's pressure and politics in an IPL team, multiply that by a thousand, (that is) coaching India. That was a good bit of advice, I guess,” Langer said.

"It would be an awesome job, but not for me at the moment,” he added.

Former England and current Royal Challengers Bengaluru head coach Andy Flower had also ruled himself out of the race saying he is happy being involved in franchise cricket for now.

Chennai Super Kings chief executive Kasi Viswanathan has done the same for Stephen Fleming claiming the former New Zealand captain won't be keen on taking a job which requires him to work 'nine-ten months a year'.

Shah described the position of India's head coach as the most prestigious job in international cricket, saying it demands high level of professionalism given the kind of support the national side enjoys.

"When we talk about international cricket, no role is more prestigious than that of the Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team. Team India commands the largest fan base globally, enjoying support that is truly unrivalled," he said.

"Our rich history, passion for the game make this one of the most lucrative jobs in the world. The role demands a high level of professionalism as one gets to nurture some of the best cricketers in the world and an assembly line of talented cricketers to follow.

"Catering to the aspirations of a billion fans is a huge honour and the BCCI will pick the right candidate, capable of propelling Indian cricket forward," Shah added.