Bengaluru: Under pressure from various legislators, the Karnataka Congress unit has convened its legislature party meeting on Tuesday to discuss the contours of the coalition with the JD(S).
This was confirmed by none other than KPCC president, Dr G. Parameshwar. "Many of our MLAs asked us to convene a legislature party meeting to discuss the cabinet berths and portfolios that the Congress party will get under the new arrangement. So, we agreed to hear our MLAs."
He also said that he would constitute a committee to analyse the poll debacle and give recommendations on course correction and would not wait for the swearing-in to be over. "Within a day or two, I will constitute a committee after consulting other senior leaders. The committee will analyse the reasons for the party’s poor performance in the elections," he said.
After the committee submits its report, it would be vetted and submitted to the party high command for further action.
Asked if cabinet formation issues were discussed, Dr Parameshwar said the issues concerning the cabinet would be discussed after the government was installed. He said immediately after the swearing-in of the chief minister, the coalition government would seek the vote of confidence.
Replying to a question whether the party would propose two DCM posts, Dr Parameshwar said the issue was not discussed in any of the meetings. "Once we sit for a discussion, we will decide on the DCM posts." He also said it was left to the party high command to make him the DCM or not. "I do not want to speak on this. It is the party high command which will take a call on this," he said.
JD(S) likely to have 14 mantris, Congres 20
Now that the Congress-JD(S) combine is ready to take over the reins of the government, the focus has shifted to how the cabinet will shape up. As of now, it appears JD(S) will have 14 ministers and the Congress 20.
The JD(S) has an easier task as its legislature party is made up of a large number of first timers and its seniors are concentrated mainly in Mysuru, Mandya and Hassan districts. It is believed Bandeppa Kashempur from Bidar and Venkata Rao Nadagouda from Sindhanur are likely to make it to the cabinet as is Gubbi MLA Srinivas, who is the seniormost, and ex-Minister Srinivas Gowda.
But there could be a problem in Mysuru as there are at least three aspiring Ministerial candidates from here. While giant killer G.T. Deve Gowda is expected to make it to the Cabinet, former Minister A.H. Vishwanath is another heavyweight in the running. Competing for a cabinet berth is also Mr Kumaraswamy's close associate and three time MLA Sa. Ra. Mahesh. While in Hassan, Mr Kumaraswamy's brother H D Revanna is the unanimous choice, the other likely candidates are Sakaleshpur MLA H.K. Kumaraswamy , a six-time MLA and Arasikere MLA Shivalinge Gowda, who has won four elections straight.
There is also A.T. Ramaswamy, the “gentleman politician” and a favourite of JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, who could be made Speaker. An almost sure bet for the Cabinet is B.M. Farooq, who stood like a rock by the party despite losing two Rajya Sabha polls, according to JD(S) sources. Besides the MLAs, there are a bunch of MLCs like Basavaraj Horatti, Marithibbe Gowda, K T Srikante Gowda and C R Manohar, too , who are waiting in the wings to be appointed ministers, they reveal.
Note from Kannada.Club :
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