Lobbying for key berths stalls portfolio allocation

Lobbying for key berths stalls portfolio allocation

Supporters of Ramalinga Reddy and Roshan Baig protest demanding cabinetberths for them in Bengaluru on Thursday.

The newly sworn-in ministers in the H D Kumaraswamy Cabinet are yet to get their portfolios.

Lobbying by ministers for key portfolios is said to be the main reason why allotment of ministries was put on hold on Thursday too.

Ministers in both the Congress and the JD(S) are mounting pressure on their respective party top leaders to give them plum portfolios.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had expanded his Cabinet by inducting 25 new ministers on Wednesday.

According to sources, the portfolio list is yet to reach Raj Bhavan. Kumaraswamy is likely to send it on Friday morning.

The day also witnessed former chief minister Siddaramaiah facing the ire of several Congress leaders who were left out of the Cabinet even as disgruntlement and protests in the grand old party continued.

On the portfolio front, there is still a tussle between the coalition partners — the Congress and the JD(S) — on who should get the Energy portfolio. The JD(S) is said to have agreed to swap Energy but in return has sought two plum portfolios with the Congress — Revenue and Bengaluru Development. Sources said the Congress does not want to let go of Bengaluru Development.

The Department of Administrative and Personnel Reforms (DPAR) came out with a gazette notification stating that Governor Vala has given his official stamp of approval appointing the 25 legislators as Cabinet ministers. Interestingly, official rooms in Vidhana Soudha were also allotted to the ministers on Thursday, but the portfolios are yet to come.

Senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar is insisting that he be given either Home or Water Resources along with Urban Development. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara has set his eyes on the Home portfolio along with Bengaluru Development. There is competition between senior leaders K J George and R V Deshpande on who should get Major Industries portfolio.

In the JD(S) camp,G T Deve Gowda has been insisting that he should be given either PWD or Energy. JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda’s son H D Revanna is keen on getting these two portfolios. According to the agreement, the Congress and the JD(S) have agreed to share the ministerial berths in the ratio of 22:12. At present, there are 27 members in the Cabinet including the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister.

Congress gets the portfolios of Home, Water Resources, Bangalore City Development, Industry and Sugar, Health, Revenue, Urban Development, Rural Development, Agriculture, Law and Parliamentary Affairs and IT/BT, among others. The JD(S) portfolios include Finance, Excise, Information, Intelligence, Public Works Department, Power, Cooperation, Tourism, Education and Transport.

Jayamala to be Council leader

Newly-appointed minister Jayamala will be the leader of the House in the Legislative Council of which she is a member, Parameshwara said. “For now, Jayamala is a minister and there are no leaders in the JD(S) to become the leader of the House. So, naturally, Jayamala will be the leader of the House in the Council,” the deputy chief minister said.