Haggling over sharing of portfolios continues

Haggling over sharing of portfolios continues

he haggling over the sharing of ministerial portfolios between the Congress and the JD(S) continued on Sunday as finance became the bone of contention.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who had left for a week-long visit to the US, had asked senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to resolve the issue.

Azad, who held a meeting with the party’s Karnataka leaders on Sunday evening, is also learnt to have been in touch with Janata Dal (S) supremo H D Deve Gowda
and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy over phone on the issue.

While Gowda and Kumaraswamy, who were in Bengaluru, have been insisting that finance, irrigation, public works department and energy portfolios go to them, the
Congress demanded finance, energy and PWD portfolios.

The Congress was also learnt to have imposed a condition that if it wanted to give up the claim on the finance portfolio, the JD(S) should spare at least irrigation and energy.
“If the Congress lets go of finance, there will be no compromise on other key portfolios like irrigation and energy. If we agree to give all key departments to the JD(S), there will be an imbalance in power sharing,” a senior Congress leader said.

AICC general secretary Karnataka in charge K C Venugopal, state leaders including Deputy Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress president G Parameshwara, former chief minister Siddaramaiah, senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and D K Shivakumar were with Azad and deliberated the issue for more than three hours. The Congress state leaders, who were planning to return to Bengaluru, were told by the party leaders to stay back in Delhi until the issue resolvse.

However, the Congress is ready with the list of leaders, who should be inducted in the council of ministers. But the party leaders refused to divulge the names.

“If both the parties able to resolve the issue, the swearing in of council of ministers may take place in a couple of days. If the deadlock continue, the swearing in may be delayed,” said a leader. The discussion on sharing of portfolios, which started on May 24, was continued as both the side refused to relax their stand of getting key departments.

Though initially the Janata Dal (S) demanded that along with Finance, PWD, Energy, Irrigation, Home and Revenue, subsequently agreed to give Revenue and Home to the Congress, sources in the Janata Dal (S) said.

“Since Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy already announced his plan to waive farm loans, hefty monthly pension to senior citizens, and vowed to spend over one lakh crore to the irrigation projects, keeping the Finance portfolio with the Janata Dal (S) is important for resource mobilisation,” JD(S) learnt to have told the Congress leaders.

Separately speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah said “the leaders will resolve the issue of sharing of portfolio at the earliest. We are in tough with JD(S) leaders.”

Rahul Gandhi leaves for the US

  • JD(S) demands irrigation, public works department and energy portfolios
  • Congress demands energy and PWD
  • Congress ready with the list of leaders to be inducted in council of  ministers, declines to divulge names