Karnataka elections 2018: HD Kumaraswamy wants Gandhis to keep leaders with ‘wish list’ at bay

Bengaluru: With pressure for plum portfolios mounting from Karnataka Congress leaders, chief minister designate and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy is rushing to Delhi on Monday for an urgent meeting with Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.

Sources in the JD(S) said Kumaraswamy is besieged with demands for portfolios — not from the Karnataka PCC chief but from top local leaders. These leaders are demanding key portfolios like Home, Finance, Power and PWD. Clearly fed up with the demands, Kumaraswamy wants either Sonia or Rahul to give a list of leaders to be included in the Cabinet and their respective portfolios.

The sources said Kumaraswamy has made up his mind on the JD-S portfolios and there would be no compromise on these. On Sunday, he met his father and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda at his residence and had a detailed discussion on government formation. The senior Gowda has reportedly ticked the portfolios that the JD(S) will keep.

HDK will have detailed discussion with Sonia and Rahul on the modalities of the power sharing agreement. In the new dispensation, the state may have not one but two deputy chief ministers with one position going to Congress leader G Parameshwara. Two Deputy Chief Ministers will help strike a balance between the two parties. HDK will also be extending an invitation to the two leaders to attend the swearing in ceremony. In all probability, the chief minister designate will take oath alone. The rest of his cabinet is likely to take oath only after the trust vote, which is likely on Thursday.

Based on the outcome of the discussions with the Gandhis, a decision will be taken on the number of Congress and JD(S) MLAs who will become ministers, Kumaraswamy told the media. HDK, however, made it clear that there will be no rotational chief minister and power-sharing formula of 30 months each between the parties. This is speculation and “bogus,” he said.

There was a power-sharing formula earlier between the JD(S) and BJP in 2007 which collapsed when Kumaraswamy refused to go by the agreement and hand over power to Yeddyurapppa. After meeting the governor, Kumaraswamy had said on Saturday the swearing-in ceremony would take place tentatively between 12 noon and 1.50 pm at Kanteerava stadium on May 21. But, later he announced that the event would be held on May 23 as May 21 happens to be the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The venue of the swearing-in is also likely to be changed, with party sources now saying it is likely to take place at Vidhana Soudha (the seat of the state legislature).


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