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Karnataka cabinet formation: JD(S) withdraws candidate from Bengaluru Assembly seat amid heavy lobbying for berths

Bengaluru: Hectic lobbying is going on in the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular)  for the ministerial posts in the Karnataka coalition government ahead of the cabinet expansion on Wednesday in Bengaluru.

File images of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy. PTI

File images of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy. PTI

"The list of our legislators for the 21 cabinet posts is being finalised in Delhi by our party high command and will be made public by Wednesday morning, ahead of the cabinet expansion in the afternoon," a Congress official told IANS.

Party's state president and deputy chief minister G. Parameshwara discussed the list with party President Rahul Gandhi and party's state in-charge K.C. Venugopal. "The list is being finalised keeping in view the representation for each region in the state and the caste combination that has to be maintained for balancing the ministry's composition," said the official, who did not want to be named.

According to party sources, Gandhi has suggested that the Congress ministers should be a mix of younger and senior legislators and representation for at least one woman MLA.

The legislators to be inducted were shortlisted after discussions with the party's state leaders, including the Congress Leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, party's leader in the state assembly and former chief Minister Siddaramaiah, and former Union Ministers K Muniyappa and Veerappa Moily. "We will announce names of the legislators to be made ministers after our high command approves it by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning", Parameshwara told reporters in New Delhi.

In the JD-S too, which has 11 ministers posts, lobbying was going on among the 35 legislators, party's state leaders and their supremo HD Deve Gowda. "Our list of legislators to take oath as ministers will be ready by Wednesday. I am waiting for the Congress list. Both the parties will decide if the cabinet expansion should be made in one go or in two phases when we meet on Wednesday again," chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy told reporters.

Meanwhile, the JD(S) on Tuesday withdrew its candidate from the 11 June assembly election in Bengaluru's Jayanagar assembly constituency in favour of its coalition ally Congress' contestant, a party official on Tuesday. "On the directive of party supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, Kalegowda has withdrawn from the contest in support of the Congress and to prevent division of secular votes," the official told IANS.

Sowmya Reddy is the daughter of veteran Congress leader and former home minister Ramalinga Reddy, who was re-elected from the BTM Layout segment in the city south in the 12 May assembly election. The election to the Jayanagar seat was postponed following the death of BJP candidate BN Vijaya Kumar on 4 May and re-scheduled to 11 June. Vote count is on 13 June.

The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the 225-member hung assembly, on 22 May nominated BN Prahlad, younger brother of Kumar, as its candidate to retain the prestigious seat. In all, 19 candidates, including nine Independents are in the fray. The other woman candidate in the contest is Nayeema Khanum of the Praja Raita Raajya Paksha.

Updated Date: Jun 06, 2018 07:55 AM

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