Bengaluru, May 30: Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy is likely to keep the Finance portfolio, sources claimed on Wednesday. The portfolio has been a major bone of contention between the Congress-JD(S) alliance in the state. It is believed, that the decision has been reached upon after Congress agreed to the demands of the Janata Dal (Secular).
Earlier during a three-hour meeting over portfolio allocation, CM Kumaraswamy reportedly argued that traditionally junior partner keeps the Finance portfolio whereas, the Congress insisted it had the right to stake claim to the key ministries.
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. Only Kumaraswamy and Parmeshwara were sworn-in on May 23. Reports suggest that the Congress wants to keep Energy, Water Resources and PWD as well.
Kumaraswamy’s elder brother and lawmaker from Holenarsipur in Hassan district HD Revanna is reportedly keen on PWD and energy, whereas Congress leader DK Shivakumar, too, is said to be keen on the Energy portfolio. Shivkumar had held Energy portfolio in the previous Congress government led by Siddaramaiah. The JD(S) is unhappy as the Congress wants to leave Animal Husbandry, Labour, Fisheries, Youth Services, Women and Child Welfare for the junior partner.
To take a final decision, CM Kumaraswamy sought time, saying he would consult JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda. Meanwhile, Congress leaders are waiting for the return of Rahul Gandhi who is abroad for his mother Sonia’s treatment.
The JD(S)-Congress coalition government won the floor test as 116 members voiced their favour for the confidence motion with none against as all the 104 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators walked out before the trust vote.