Karnataka cabinet expansion delayed, Congress seeks major chunk

New Delhi: The expansion of Karnataka ministry may be delayed as Congress President Rahul Gandhi is accompanying his mother Sonia Gandhi to the US for her annual check-up. The Congress that has said HD Kumaraswamy or JD(S) other ministers have never held finance portfolio with them, has also asked for a major chunk of its ministers in the alliance.

Other than finance, the Congress sought portfolios such as home, industry, information technology, excise, irrigation, for its ministers when its team of senior Congress leaders met chief minister HD Kumaraswamy in New Delhi, says The Economic Times report. “Talks are being held in a constructive manner. There’s no crisis and we are in the process of reaching an amicable agreement,” a leader involved in the talks reportedly said.

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.

Also, 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.

IANS inputs