Karnataka Cabinet expansion today

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Karnataka Cabinet expansion today

After several days of consultation, the two-member State Cabinet headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy is all set for expansion on Wednesday.

Governor Vajubhai Vala will administer the oath to the new Ministers at the Raj Bhavan at 2.12 p.m. According to the coalition agreement on June 1, Congress has been allocated 22 ministerial berths while the JD(S) will get 12.

According to sources, the Congress, which has a long list of ministerial aspirants, is likely to induct 16 or 17 legislators into the ministry and keep four or five berths vacant. This is as part of a strategy to meet any exigencies of dissidence that may crop up after the expansion.

The JD(S), too, has decided not to fill all its Cabinet berths in one go.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders from the State held discussions with AICC president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Tuesday to finalise the names of the legislators to be sworn in as Ministers and the allocation of portfolios.

Before meeting Mr. Gandhi, State Congress chief and Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara held one-on-one talks with several ministerial aspirants. “A balance will be maintained by giving representation to major communities, regions, and districts,” he said, explaining that both experienced and new faces would be inducted into the Cabinet. “A couple of MLCs too will be inducted into the Ministry so that they can be considered for the post of leader of the House in the Council.”

Several senior leaders such as D.K. Shivakumar, H.K. Patil, M.B. Patil, Roshan Baig, Dinesh Gundu Rao, and R.V. Deshpande have been camping in New Delhi and lobbying hard for Cabinet berths. Sources said the Congress has decided to give more or less equal representation to Vokkaliga, Lingayat and Backward Class communities. A woman MLA is also likely to be inducted.

Besides Mr. Parameshwara, co-ordination committee chairman and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, AICC general secretary in charge of K.C. Venugopal, and Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge held talks with Mr. Gandhi and discussed the Cabinet expansion, portfolio allocation, and probable candidates for the post of next president of the KPCC. Mr. Parameshwara has decided to step down from the post after serving for over eight years.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Daily Report and is published from a The Hindu.)

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