JD-S, Congress discuss Karnataka cabinet expansion
Bengaluru, May 26 (IANS) Karnataka's ruling alliance partners - the JD-S and Congress - on Saturday held talks on cabinet expansion a day after Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy won the trust vote in the assembly.
"Leaders of both alliance partners met at a hotel here and discussed the cabinet expansion and portfolios to be allocated to their legislators. The talks will resume on Monday after the Congress state unit leaders return from Delhi," a Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) official told IANS here.
As agreed by the partners, the Congress, which won 78 seats, will have 22 cabinet ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, while the JD-S, which has 36 members in the house, will have 12 ministers, including the Chief Minister.
"The state Congress leaders told Kumaraswamy that they would submit him a list of names to be made ministers after their high command clears them in Delhi by Sunday," said the official.
Only Kumaraswamy and Parmeshwara were sworn-in on Wednesday before the floor test on Friday.
"Portfolios to be shared by the alliance partners will be decided after the selection of legislators for the cabinet posts and before their swearing-in," said the official.
Kumaraswamy's elder brother and lawmaker from Holenarsipur in Hassan district H.D. Revanna and two senior JD-S leaders attended the meeting, in which former Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, party's state in-charge K.C. Venugopal and senior party leader D.K. Shivakumar participated.
The Congress leaders later left for Delhi to discuss the cabinet expansion issue with party President Rahul Gandhi, party's leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
"Legislators to be made ministers have been selected for approval by the high command. Allocation of portfolios earmarked for our party will also be decided in consultation with the high command," a Congress official told IANS.
The JD-S will also finalise its list of members for the cabinet posts in consultation with its supremo H.D. Deve Gowda by Monday.
As election to the Raja Rajeshwari Nagar assembly seat in Bengaluru is on Monday and vote count on May 31, the date of cabinet expansion will be decided on Tuesday.
Polling in the RR Nagar seat was postponed due to alleged electoral malpractice by Congress contestant Munirathna, who was the sitting legislator.
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