After a few days of discourse, the two-member State Cabinet headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy is all set for expansion on Wednesday. Governor Vajubhai Vala has administered the oath to the new Ministers at the Raj Bhavan at 2.12 p.m. As per 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 by keeping four or five berths vacant. This is as part of a strategy to meet any requirement of disagreement that may crop up after the expansion. Even JD(S) 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 finalize the names of the legislators to be sworn in as Ministers and the allocation of portfolios.
State Congress chief and Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara held one-on-one talks with several ministerial aspirants, before having a meet with meeting Mr Gandhi. He said, “A balance will be maintained by giving representation to major communities, regions, and districts,” explaining that both experienced and new faces would be inducted into the Cabinet. He also added that “A couple of MLCs will also be inducted into the Ministry so that they can be considered for the post of leader of the House in the Council.”
Few of the senior leaders such as R.V. Deshpande, Gundu Rao, M.B. Patil, Roshan Baig, Dinesh H.K. Patil, and D.K. Shivakumar have been camping in New Delhi and lobbying hard for Cabinet berths. It is come to know that the Congress has decided to give more or less equal representation to Lingayat, Vokkaliga and Backward Class communities. Also, a woman MLA is likely to be inducted.
Besides, the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, co-ordination committee chairman Mr. Parameshwara, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge along with AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka C. Venugopal held talks with Rahul 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.