Cong, JD(S) still stuck on Finance portfolio

Cong, JD(S) still stuck on Finance portfolio

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Delhi, on Monday.

The issue of sharing of portfolios between the Congress and Janata Dal (S) is yet to be resolved as both parties have stuck to their stand of having key departments including Finance.

Though both the parties held a joint meeting here on Monday, the issue appears set to drag on for a couple of days.  

However, the Congress claimed that the “issues” would be resolved soon after Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy held talks with its leaders in the national capital. The JD(S) said talks between the two allies were inconclusive and would resume after a day or two.

Kumaraswamy and state Congress leaders left for Bengaluru late Monday evening to participate in the funeral of a Congress MLA Siddu Nyamagouda, who died in an accident near Bagalkot.

There has been “heavy bargaining” over portfolio allocation during discussions between the coalition partners, thus delaying the formation of the council of ministers in Karnataka.

Kumaraswamy, who arrived at the national capital to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held a meeting with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at his residence for more than one hour.

At the meeting, which was also attended by senior leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjuna Kharge, former chief minister Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and senior leader D K Shivakumar, Kumaraswamy reportedly said the JD(S) was ready to give up its claim on key portfolios including Irrigation and Energy, but would not make a compromise on the Finance department. 

The Congress, which gave unconditional support to the JD(S), reportedly demanded key portfolios of Finance, Home and Industries, under which the department of mining comes, besides Power, Irrigation, Public Works, Excise, Bengaluru Development and Primary Education.

Azad also held a separate meeting with the Karnataka Congress leaders in the evening and reportedly communicated the JD(S) view to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is on a US tour.

A senior Congress leader said they will continue their talks with their leaders on Tuesday and resolve the issue in a day or two. Kumaraswamy said the differences will be resolved soon.