Cabinet berths: Congress netas for Delhi today

Bengaluru: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has summoned senior leaders of his party from Karnataka to New Delhi Friday night to finalise the names of those who will join the cabinet of the H D Kumaraswamy- led coalition government.

While the Congress has been allotted 22 berths in the 34-member ministry, KPCC chief, Dr G Parameshwara has already joined it in the capacity of deputy Chief Minister. The party now needs to shortlist names of candidates for 21 other berths.

The summons to partymen were reportedly issued during a meeting in a private hotel while Mr Gandhi was in the city  with UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi for the swearing-in of Chief Minister Kumaraswamy and  Dr  Parameshwar on Wednesday.

“After the floor test in the state legislative  assembly on Friday, senior leaders will fly to Delhi with a list of likely candidates for cabinet berths. Mr Gandhi has also instructed them to draw up a list of candidates for  the legislative council elections slated for June 11," reveal party sources.

With 16 of the 78 Congress MLAs being Lingayats,  it is believed the community may get not less than three berths  and the party central leadership is likely to approve some of the candidates suggested by Congress Legislature Party leader, Siddaramaiah as a mark of respect for him.

"As the JD(S) has won a large number of seats in  the old-Mysuru region, the Congress party cannot give greater representation to MLAs and MLCs from this region. And it also has to  strike a balance between leaders of different castes and regions," point out party insiders.

With signs of squabbles already evident among state leaders over the post of deputy Chief Minister, the party high command is reportedly trying to drive home the message that it does not expect similar confusion over cabinet berths by its direct intervention in the matter.

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