Tussle over berths, HD Kumaraswamy cabinet on hold

Bengaluru: Five days after he was sworn in as  chief minister along with his deputy, Dr G Parameshwar of the Congress, Mr H.D. Kumaraswamy is yet to get a full fledged Cabinet with the process likely to drag on for another week because of differences over portfolio allocation and the fact that Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former president Sonia Gandhi are travelling to the US.

However, in a late Sunday night development, Congress in-charge for Karnataka K.C. Venugopal said that portfolios would be decided ‘in a day or two’ as Rahul was available on phone 24/7  and they did not have to wait for his return. 

Mrs Gandhi is reportedly headed to the US for a health check-up with Mr Rahul accompanying her.

Earlier speaking to reporters in New Delhi, former CM, Siddaramaiah dropped enough hints that portfolio allocation would be carried out only after Mr Rahul and Mrs Gandhi return from the US. 

“We could not discuss the matter of allocation of portfolios with Congress president Rahul Gandhi,” he said.     

"Once he returns, we will discuss with him again. It may not take a week… Maybe three-four days will be required," he told reporters in Delhi. "There are no grave differences between us (Congress) and the JD(S) but surely there are differences which we will hammer out and then we will take the formal approval of Mrs Gandhi and Mr Rahul once they return from the US," he explained.

In response to a question, Mr Siddaramaiah said the question of whether the JD(S) should have the full five- year term of the CM for itself or share it with the Congress on the basis of a 30:30 month formula, was still open for discussion. "Although we have not discussed this, we will take it up possibly in the next round of discussions," he said adding that the party had not taken any final decision on who should be inducted into the cabinet.

Meanwhile, sources in the Congress disclosed that the two partners were at loggerheads over the allocation of plum portfolios such as Finance, Home, Public Works Department (PWD), Power, Irrigation and Urban Development (Bengaluru Development).

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