Karnataka Cabinet expansion at 2 pm on Wednesday; CM denies rift within JDS over seats

As per the coalition agreement on June 1, Congress was allocated 22 ministerial berths and JDS was given 12.

Karnataka Cabinet expansion at 2 pm on Wednesday; CM denies rift within JDS over seats
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BENGALURU: Two weeks after taking over as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, HD Kumaraswamy will on Wednesday expand his Cabinet. The CM said that at least nine MLAs from the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) will be inducted in the first phase of cabinet expansion of the JDS-Congress coalition government in the state.

"In the first phase (of the cabinet expansion), eight to nine members (MLAs from JD(S)) will be there (inducted in the cabinet). Two to three vacancies will be there," Kumaraswamy said here when asked about the first phase of cabinet expansion.

As per the coalition agreement on June 1, Congress was allocated 22 ministerial berths and 12 to JDS. Congress was allocated Home, Irrigation, Health, Agriculture and Women Child Welfare ministries, while JDS agreed with Finance and Excise, Public Works Department, Education, Tourism and Transport ministries.

Ruling out any differences among JDS MLAs with regard to portfolio allocation, Kumaraswamy said party president HD Deve Gowda has been given total freedom on the next phase of cabinet expansion. "There are no differences at all among our MLAs (over cabinet berths and portfolio allocations). Actually they have given total freedom to the national president to select the future cabinet," he said.

He also said the national president has advised all MLAs about giving good governance with their cooperation. "Today we had a meeting with our MLAs. Our national president advised all MLAs to cooperate with the cabinet for developing the state and providing good governance," he said.

Both the Congress and the JDS had earlier agreed to set up of coordination and monitoring committee to oversee smooth functioning of the coalition. The committee will be led by senior Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, while JDS leader Danish Ali will work as its convenor.

Ahead of the Cabinet expansion on Wednesday, Congress leaders from the state are likely to visit Delhi to discuss the list of ministers and portfolio allocation with the party high command. 

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