With No Clarity on Deputy CMs, Congress-JD(S) Continue Tussle Over Karnataka Cabinet Expansion
According to sources, Congress wants finance and other key influential portfolios like revenue, PWD and energy. "In total, the grand old part wants 22 portfolios," a source told News18.
File photo of HD Kumaraswamy with Congress president Rahul Gandhi and several other opposition leaders in Bengaluru. (File photo: PTI)
New Delhi: The delay in cabinet expansion of the Congress-JD(S) alliance government in Karnataka is on account of unresolved issues on power sharing arrangement, including appointment of two deputy chief ministers from the Congress quota.
Sources have told News18 that Congress is insisting on its earlier demand for two deputies to CM HD Kumararaswamy, both from the Congress.
Only G Parmeshwar was sworn in as deputy CM last week along with Kumaraswamy as the two partners clarified the expansion would follow after the floor test in the Assembly.
With BJP walking out, the Kumaraswamy government easily won the vote of confidence on the floor of the House. But it has been one week since and a couple of visits to Delhi since taking oath, Kumaraswamy has not been able to get Congress on board on getting his full cabinet sworn.
Kumaraswamy has already said that he was at the 'mercy' of the Congress, not the 6.5 crore people of the state indicating difference over portfolio allocation.
Sources also say the Congress is also insisting on allocation of some plum portfolios, especially after having ‘sacrificed’ the CM’s post despite being the senior partner in the alliance.
The party has been asking for at least 22 ministerial berth, including ministries of Finance, PWD and Energy.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi has already briefed senior Congress leaders on the contours of agreement to be thrashed out before the swearing in of the full cabinet.
Rahul had left for the US on Sunday accompanying his mother who has to undergo a medical check-up there.
Among those present during the deliberations on Monday were Ahmed Patel, Ashok Gehlot and K C Venugopal, who is the AICC general secretary in charge of the state. Kumaraswamy was joined by JD(S) leader Danish Ali during the discussions with the Congress leadership.
Later, senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge, state Congress leader Siddaramaiah, deputy chief minister G Parameshwara and DK Shiva Kumar joined their senior leadership in the "negotiations".
After the meeting, Kumaraswamy exuded confidence that an amicable power sharing arrangement will be worked out.
"We discussed the portfolios. The discussions remained inconclusive, but ended on a positive note. Very soon we will sort out the issues," Ali told PTI.
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