Bengaluru: Shankunthala Shetty among CM’s 10 New Parliamentary Secretaries

Bengaluru (DHNS): The please-all exercise by the chief minister comes close on the heels of effecting an expansion of the council of ministers.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has appointed 10 Congress legislators as parliamentary secretaries, who will enjoy the rank of ministers. The parliamentary secretaries will assist the ministers.

The please-all exercise by the chief minister comes close on the heels of effecting an expansion of the council of ministers. The ministry is full with all the 34 berths being filled up. The parliamentary secretaries will enjoy the status of Cabinet, minister of state or deputy minister rank.

The strength of the ministry, as per the constitutional amendment, in Karnataka has been pegged at 34 (15 per cent of the total strength of the Legislative Assembly). To circumvent this, chief ministers appoint parliamentary and political secretaries, usually sanctioning them minister of state rank. Legal experts argue that the post is not covered under the law. B S Yeddyurappa had appointed parliamentary secretaries, when he was chief minister. A notification listing the 10 names, nine MLAs and one MLC, was issued by the Department of parliamentary affairs on Thursday evening. The appointments have been made with the consent of the Congress high command, it is said.

The newly appointed parliamentary secretaries were supposed to be sworn in on Friday, but owing to certain delays, they may be sworn in on Saturday evening. Siddaramaiah himself will administer the oath at the Vidhana Soudha. A parliamentary secretary works under the direction of the minister.

Siddaramaiah has taken into account various factors including caste, community, seniority, gender, while making the appointments. Not only has he chosen youngsters, he has also picked second-time MLAs who did not get the opportunity of being inducted into the Cabinet. It is rumoured that more may be added to the list.

While one legislator belonging to the minority community has been appointed, those from the SC/ST and backward communities too figure in the list. No member from the major community Lingayat has been appointed. Sources said the community members will get large representation to contest the upcoming elections to 25 MLC seats. The MLCs will be elected by local bodies.

The parliamentary secretaries are given salaries and facilities like bungalows, vehicles and TA/DA, on a par with cabinet ministers or ministers of state, as decided by the chief minister. The notification issued on Thursday has not indicated the status.

The appointees
*Shakunthala Shetty – Puttur (Bunt)
*C Puttaranga Shetty – Chamarajanagar (Uppara)
*A S Shivalli – Kundagol (Kuruba)
*H P Manjunath – Hunsur (Shetty)
*E Tukaram – Sandur (ST)
*Raju Algur – Nagthana (SC)
*Makabul Bagawan – Vijayapura city (Muslim)
*Umesh Jadhav – Chincholi (SC)
*Doddamani Siddalingappa – Shirahatti (SC)
*K Govindaraju – B’luru – MLC (Vokkaliga)

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