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Karnataka portfolio allocation will be finalised in a day or two, says KC Venugopal after JD(S) admits 'issues' with Congress over berths

New Delhi: Allocation of portfolios in the newly sworn-in JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka will be finalised in a day or two, senior Congress leader KC Venugopal said on Sunday.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi's overseas travel plan will not come in the way in finalising the portfolios, he added.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, accompanied by her son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi, left for abroad tonight for a medical check-up.

File image of Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. Twitter@JDSforchange

File image of Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. Twitter@JDSforchange

"First, we have to finalise the portfolios. Discussion is going on. Most probably it will be finalised in a day or two," Venugopal, who is in charge of party affairs in Karnataka, said.

The final list will be discussed with state leaders before getting it approved from the Congress chief. "Rahul's absence will not delay. He is available over phone 24x7," he said.

The discussion on portfolios will continue on Monday as well, he added.

On differences over certain portfolios with the JD(S), Venugopal said, "In a coalition, there will be certain issues. We are discussing with each other. It will be sorted out immediately."

The Congress and the JD(S) are at loggerheads over the allocation of key portfolios such as finance, home, public works department (PWD) and power, irrigation and urban development. The Congress is waiting for the JD(S) to come out with its list of portfolios.

On Saturday, JD(S) leader and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy admitted that there were some "issues" over the allocation of portfolios with the coalition partner.

On 23 May, Kumaraswamy and G Parameshwara of the Congress took oath and chief minister and deputy chief minister respectively.

In addition, it has already been decided that Congress would have 21 ministers and JD(S) 11 in the new council of ministers.

The sources said that the Congress demanded finance as in the previous coalition government in the state in 2004-06 (JD(S)-Congress) as well as in 2006-08 (JD(S)-BJP), the portfolio had gone to those who held the deputy chief minister's post.

There is also discussion and demand that the party should induct new faces in the cabinet. Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, who was in the national capital, held talks with ministerial aspirants.

Kumaraswamy is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.

On Saturday, the Congress president held the first round of discussion on portfolio allocation with senior party leaders of the state, but the meeting remained inconclusive.

Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara, senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and DK Shivakumar and state party in-charge Venugopal were present in the meeting.

Responding to questions on "cracks" in the Congress-JD(S) coalition, AICC spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohail said that when there is internal democracy, partners has a right to raise issues and these cannot be termed as "cracks".


Updated Date: May 28, 2018 07:02 AM

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