Allocation of portfolios in newly sworn-in JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka is likely to be delayed further as UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is travelling abroad with her son and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, sources said. According to the sources, the meeting to decide on the portfolio allocation has been postponed for a week as Sonia Gandhi is travelling abroad with her son tonight for health check-up. “The meeting is most likely to be held on June 4-5,” one the sources said. The Congress and the JD(S) are at loggerheads over the allocation of key portfolios such as Finance, Home, Public Works Department (PWD) and Power, Irrigation and Urban Development.
The Congress is waiting for the JD(S) to come out with its list of portfolios. Yesterday, JD(S) leader and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy admitted that there were some “issues” over the allocation of portfolios with the coalition partner. On May 23, Kumaraswamy and G Parameshwara of the Congress took oath and chief minister and deputy chief minister respectively. In addition, it has already been decided that Congress would have 21 ministers and JD(S) 11 in the new council of ministers.
The sources said that the Congress demanded finance as in the previous coalition government in the state in 2004-06 (JDS-Congress) as well as in 2006-08 (JDS-BJP), the portfolio had gone to those who held the deputy chief minister’s post. There is also discussion and demand that the party should induct new faces in the cabinet. Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah who was in the national capital held talks with ministerial aspirants here.
Kumaraswamy is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow. Yesterday, the Congress president held the first round of discussion on portfolio allocation with senior party leaders of the state, but the meeting remained inconclusive.
Siddaramaiah, Parameshwar, senior leaders Mallikarjuna Kharge and D K Shivakumar and state party in-charge K C Venugopal were present in the meeting. Responding to questions on “cracks” in the Congress-JD(S) coalition, AICC spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohail said that when there is internal democracy, partners has a right to raise issues and these cannot be termed as “cracks”.