After days of speculation and negotiations between the Congress and JD(S), the Janata Dal (Secular) looks set to finally grab the Finance Ministry in Karnataka government. In the big decision taken today, the Congress has acquired the Home department for itself in the state government. However, the power-sharing arrangement between the two alliance partners is being finalized and is in the final stages. The Congress and JD(S) who have formed a coalition government in Karnataka have held five rounds of talks since yesterday to finalise the portfolio sharing arrangement between the two alliance partners.
Sources said Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is on board on the issue and has spoken to leaders on phone from the United States, where he travelling with his mother, who has gone for a medical check-up. JD(S) leader Danish Ali confirmed to PTI that after rounds of talks between Congress and JD(S), it has been decided that JD-S will get the Finance portfolio. He said that he will be travelling to Bengaluru to hold further talks within JD(S). He said he would meet both Chief Minister H D Kumarswamy and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda.
On May 28, senior Congress leader K C Venugopal had said that the Congress and the JD(S) would seal the deal over portfolio allocation in Karnataka within a day or two. On May 26, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said there are some issues on portfolio allocation with his party’s coalition partner Congress but it is not something that will pull down the government. He also said the expansion of his Cabinet would take place once state Congress leaders get an approval from their high command.
Parleys began between the Congress and the JD(S) on the issue of Cabinet expansion soon after Kumaraswamy proved his three-day-old government’s majority on the floor of the Assembly yesterday. Karnataka Congress leaders left for New Delhi by a chartered plane to discuss with the high command the issues relating to Cabinet expansion and portfolio allocation. Kumaraswamy had met former chief minister and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister Parameshwara and Congress general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal, The chief minister also clarified that he would not be going to Delhi to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi.