Rahul asks Cong leaders to ready Cabinet list

Rahul asks Cong leaders to ready Cabinet list

Congress president Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has asked senior party leaders to prepare the list of 21 names of ministerial aspirants and have it cleared by him before the H D Kumaraswamy-led government expands its council of ministers next week.

Rahul and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi held a meeting with senior party leaders Mallikarjuna Kharge, K C Venugopal, Siddaramaiah, D K Shivakumar among others to discuss the current political situation in Karnataka.

Rahul advised state leaders to come to New Delhi after the Congress-JD(S) government proves its majority in the Legislative Assembly on May 25, with a shortlist of 21 names.

The alliance partners have agreed to divide the 34 berths in the Council of Ministers as 22 for the Congress (including deputy chief minister) and 12 for the regional party, including the post of chief minister.

The Congress is said to be considering inducting fresh faces into the council of ministers, especially some of the younger legislators.

At the same time, the party wants to have experienced legislators to ensure smooth functioning of the coalition government.

A delegation will visit the high command either this Friday or Saturday, Congress sources said.

Rahul is also likely to take a call on the growing demand for the creation of a second deputy chief minister’s post, besides state party chief G Parameshwara who took oath on Wednesday.

There is pressure from the Veerashaiva-Lingayat and Muslim communities to appoint one of their own as Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s deputy.

The party high command is also likely to discuss how to deal with Kumaraswamy’s eagerness to waive loans farmers have borrowed from nationalised banks, a poll promise the regional party had made.