Karnataka cabinet expansion 'settled', JDS to hold Finance, Congress gets Home

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said the ministry expansion will take place on June 6

Karnataka cabinet expansion 'settled', JDS to hold Finance, Congress gets Home

BENGALURU: After days of discussion over the Cabinet expansion in Karnataka, the Congress and the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) have agreed on the portfolio allotment. As per the final decision, the JDS will be holding the Finance portfolio while the Congress will get Home department. "Congress and JDS have come to a conclusion regarding cabinet expansion and portfolio allocation. JDS will be holding the finance portfolio. Everything is settled," senior Congress leader KC Venugopal said. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said the ministry expansion will take place on June 6. 

The allocation of key portfolios including Finance was a point of contention between the two alliance partners as both the Congress and JDS were keen to hold the profile. Even 10 days after taking over on May 23, Kumaraswamy has not yet got a full-fledged team of ministers and the delay was being attributed to the hard bargaining between the two parties over portfolio allocation. Only Parameshwara was sworn-in as Deputy Chief Minister, along with Kumaraswamy on May 23.

However, dismissing reports of any "issues" between the alliance partners on the issue of portfolio allocation, Kumaraswamy had said that after several rounds of discussions and with the consensus of all, a decision has been arrived at.

On Friday, Kumaraswamy along with his Deputy and Pradesh Congress Committee chief G Parameshwara met Governor Vajubhai Vala at Raj Bhavan to discuss the dates for the swearing-in of the new ministers. "...We had thought of expanding the cabinet on Sunday, but as the Governor has a pre-scheduled programme to visit Delhi, we are going to request him (about time)," Kumaraswamy said.

Ahead of visiting Raj Bhavan, Kumaraswamy, Parameshwara and Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal held discussions with former Prime Minister and JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda at his residence about cabinet expansion and portfolio allocation.

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