Around 20 more ministers are likely to be inducted in Siddaramaiah-led Cabinet in Karnataka and take oath on Saturday, according to reports.
CM Siddaramaiah and his deputy DK Shivakumar were in Delhi to meet the party’s high command over the cabinet expansion. They met Congress general secretary in charge for Karnataka Randeep Surjewala and the party’s general secretary, organisation, K C Venugopal. They then held meetings with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge separately at his residence, sources said.
Sources indicated that another round of discussions will be held before the state cabinet is finalised.
Several rounds of meetings have been held since the Congress stormed to power in Karnataka with the majority on May 13 over the government formation. Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar were sworn in as Karnataka chief minister and deputy CM respectively along with eight cabinet ministers on May 20. However, the ministers have not yet been allocated their portfolios.
Karnataka can have a maximum of 34 ministers and the Congress will find it difficult to accommodate all the aspirants.
Sources said differences have emerged between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar over names of probable ministers with both pushing the case of MLAs close to them.
According to Congress sources, this was done as differences emerged between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar over some names during discussions held last week in Delhi ahead of the swearing-in ceremony.
After landing in the national capital on Wednesday, Shivakumar said it was a “normal routine visit" and that he will meet senior party leaders to discuss issues concerning the state. “We have to finish our cabinet (expansion) as early as possible. That is in process."
Rejecting rumours of a rift within the party, Shivakumar said, “As the party president (Karnataka), I am telling you that nothing is there, no internal issues are there.’ On being asked about supporters of Congress MLA D Sudhakar staging a protest outside Siddaramaiah’s house, Shivakumar said, “(It’s) quite natural. All of the workers (of the party) want to become ministers."
(With PTI inputs)