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G Parameshwara to be Karnataka Deputy CM, Congress Gets 22 Berths in 33-Member Cabinet

The Speaker in the Karnataka Assembly will also be from the Congress while the deputy speaker will be from the JDS.


Updated:May 23, 2018, 8:39 AM IST

Bengaluru: The Congress has bagged 22 berths in HD Kumaraswamy’s Cabinet while the JDS will get to appoint 11 ministers, the two parties revealed on Tuesday after days of hectic bargaining over the power sharing formula in Karnataka.

Ending speculation over the contours of government formation, Congress’ general secretary KC Venugopal also revealed that G Parameshwara will be Kumaraswamy’s No. 2 in the state government.

He will take oath as the deputy CM alongside Kumaraswamy at the grand ceremony planned for Wednesday that leaders from 12 parties are expected to attend. Earlier reports had said that only Kumaraswamy will take oath on Wednesday, while the rest will be sworn in after the floor test on Thursday.

The appointment of Parameshwara, a Dalit, as the deputy CM could help the Congress woo the minority community ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha election. He will be the first Dalit to be appointed to the post in Karnataka.

The Speaker in the Karnataka Assembly will also be from the Congress – KR Ramesh Kumar - while the deputy speaker will be from the JDS. Kumar, a five-time MLA had won from the Srinivasapur seat in South Karnataka.

The five-time MLA was a minister in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet and held the health and family welfare portfolio. The name of the deputy speaker has not been announced so far.

Venugopal, who led the negotiations for the Congress in Bengaluru on Tuesday, said that only the number of ministers have been decided right now and portfolio allocation will be done after the floor test, which is expected to take place on Thursday.

This, sources said, has been done in order to make sure that any grievances caused over portfolios does not hinder the trust vote.

The announcement of the power sharing agreement comes a day after Kumaraswamy met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi at the former’s residence in Delhi. It is learnt that the Congress had mooted appointing two deputy CMs in the state as it would help strike a balance between the two allies.

Having two deputy CM would also have allowed the Congress to placate different communities who were putting pressure to get their own person in the chair. Both Lingayats and Muslims had asked that they should get representation. But the JDS was not in favour of the idea, sources said.

Parameshawara was the clear frontrunner for the post. He is a five-time MLA and has been chief of the KPCC for eight years now. He was also in contention to become the chief minister in 2013 but had lost out to Siddaramaiah after tasting his first defeat in an assembly election.

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