Karnataka Cong Leaders In Delhi For Cabinet Expansion  

Karnataka assembly - Sakshi Post

Bengaluru: A day after Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy won the trust vote in the state Assembly, Karnataka Congress leaders today left for Delhi to discuss with the party high command the issues of Cabinet expansion and allocation of portfolios.

The leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister and KPCC chief G Parameshwara, former chief minister Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar, are expected to hold discussions with Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi. "All discussions will happen in Delhi... Cabinet expansion, who has to be taken, who has to be given priority...the criteria will be decided by the the high command," Parameshwara told reporters here before leaving for Delhi by a special flight.

Soon after Kumaraswamy, heading the Congress-JDS government, proved majority in the Assembly, parleys began between the coalition partners regarding Cabinet expansion. According to party sources, another round of meeting took place on the issue at a private hotel here today. Among those who attended the meeting included Kumaraswamy, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara and Congress general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal. It has already been decided that the Congress would have 22 ministers and JDS 12.

Senior state Congress leader D K Shivakumar, who emerged as a key figure in keeping the party MLAs together before the trust vote of the B S Yeddyurappa government, is reportedly upset over not getting the Deputy chief minister's post. Yeddyurappa, who was sworn in as the chief minister on May 17, had stepped down two days later in the face of impending defeat without going through the floor test.

Indicating that he will step down as the state party chief, Parameshwara said there are many capable leaders in the Congress for the post. "As I have become a minister, naturally I will have to give up the state party chief's post. I have held the post for about eight years now. There are many leaders in the party who are more efficient than me...They may organise the party even better if given an opportunity," he said.

Discussions are also likely on a coordination committee for formulating a common minimum programme for the smooth functioning of the government, Congress sources said. The Kumaraswamy government had yesterday won the vote of confidence in the Assembly amid a walkout by BJP MLAs. (PTI)

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