Bengaluru: Senior Karnataka Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy was named the new home minister of the state on Friday. Reddy, who was minister for transport until now, replaces G.Parameshwara who resigned from his post in June to focus on next year’s assembly elections.

Reddy takes home portfolio at a time when the police department has seen a slew of transfers of senior officials, allegations of preferential treatment for high profile inmate AIADMK interim general secretary V.K. Sasikalaat the Parappana Agrahara (Bengaluru jail) and allegations of transfers of honest officials. Other challenges for the minister will include calming communal tensions in coastal Karnataka.

Parameshwara resigned in June after his term as president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) was extended.

Chief minister Siddaramaiah on Friday revamped his cabinet with the entry of H.M.Revanna, R.B. Thimmapur and Geetha Mahadev Prasad among others, in what could possibly be the last expansion of the council of ministers before next year’s elections.

Revanna has been given the transport portfolio and Thimmapur excise, while first time legislator Geetha Mahadev Prasad gets sugar and minor industries. Satish Jarkiholi has got the cooperation department while the skill department has been given to labour minister Santosh Lad as an additional portfolio.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has objected to Thimmapur’s entry into the cabinet. “The induction of Shri Thimmapur into the ministry shows the lust for power and moral bankruptcy of the Congress," C.T.Ravi, BJP’s state general secretary said in a statement on Friday. He alleged that Thimmapur got his name registered in the Bengaluru voters list with the sole intention of voting in the mayoral elections.

Siddaramaiah continues to hold on to finance, personnel and administrative reforms and information and public relations.

H.Y.Meti, the former excise minister resigned from his post after an alleged sex tape of his became an embarrassment to the government while cooperation and sugar minister H.S.Mahadeva Prasad died in January this year.

Additionally, IT/BT minister Priyank Kharge, youth empowerment and sports department minister Pramod Mdhwaraj, Municipalities and local bodies from urban development department minister Eshwara.B. Khandre, Textiles and Muzrai department minister Rudrappa Manappa Lamani have been promoted to cabinet rank.

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