Karnataka gets education minister after 8-month wait
After BSP legislator N Mahesh resigned last year stating that he needed time to build the party, the primary and secondary education department did not have a full-time minister. Chief minister Kumaraswamy had been overseeing the department ever since.
Bengaluru: Karnataka finally has a full-time primary and secondary education minister. SR Srinivas, Gubbi legislator was given the charge on Monday after an eight-month wait.
After BSP legislator N Mahesh resigned last year stating that he needed time to build the party, the primary and secondary education department did not have a full-time minister. Kumaraswamy had been overseeing the department ever since.
Close to 80 lakh students study in private and government schools while the sector employs around one lakh teaching and non-teaching staff members. Kumaraswamy was under huge pressure to appoint a dedicated minister for the department due to its huge role and responsibility. AH Vishwanath, the outgoing JD(S) state president, had once held the portfolio and criticised Kumaraswamy for not appointing a full-time minister.
Two independent legislators were also given portfolios on Monday. These independents--R Shankar and H Nagesh--were inducted into HD Kumaraswamy’s cabinet 11 days ago.
R Shankar got municipal administration whereas H Nagesh has been appointed as the small-scale industries minister. SR Srinivas administered the small-scale industries earlier.
According to reports, Nagesh had his mind set on the energy and primary and secondary education departments. But Kumaraswamy was not ready to give away either of the departments. Four rounds of discussion ended without any result, reports stated.
Kumaraswamy was not ready to hand over the responsibility of the education department to an independent MLA as the department has undertaken infrastructure projects worth Rs 500 crore, reports stated.
According to reports, though Kumaraswamy wanted to retain the ministry the public outcry forced him to part with it and appoint a JD(S) MLA for the post.
He reportedly offered Nagesh the Kannada and cultural department at one point. But the Congress rejected the proposal stating that Nagesh should get a portfolio from the JD(S) share, reports said.