Cabinet expansion: Gowda, Siddaramaiah close ranks

Cabinet expansion: Gowda, Siddaramaiah close ranks

Coalition Coordination and Monitoring Committee chairman Siddaramaiah held talks with JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda on Monday to discuss the impending expansion of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s Cabinet.

“We discussed the Cabinet expansion, which will be done soon,” Siddaramaiah told reporters after his meeting with Gowda. Apparently, the Cabinet will be expanded by the end of this month or before the Winter Session of the legislature, early next month.

Gowda and his one-time-foe, Siddaramaiah, are said to have discussed the modalities of the Cabinet expansion, including when it should be done and what the coalition should do to make sure there is no rebellion by those who miss the bus.

It is also said that they discussed convening a meeting of the Coalition Coordination Committee soon.

Out of 34 Cabinet berths, the Congress has six vacant from its quota of 22, whereas the JD(S) can fill up two out of 12.

On the cane growers’ protest, Siddaramaiah said he would speak to Kumaraswamy. “There’s no second question that the cane growers’ problem should be solved,” Siddaramaiah said.

Gowda, however, declined to comment. “I’m not the chief minister, nor is Siddaramaiah. It’s up to the government.”