A day before JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy is sworn in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, his party and the Congress hammered out a final deal on the 34-member Cabinet which will comprise 12 JD(S) ministers and 22 from the Congress.
The JD(S) also agreed to Dalit leader and state Congress president G Parameshwara as Deputy CM and Congress leader K R Ramesh as Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly.
After initial disquiet over power-sharing, the newly formed JD(S)-Congress coalition will take office Wednesday and names of the ministers in the Cabinet will be announced a day after the new government clears a trust vote on May 24, Kumaraswamy said Tuesday.
“We had a meeting today to decide the cabinet formation of the government lead by Kumaraswamyji. We have taken 2-3 decisions. Out of 34 ministries, 22 will go to Congress including deputy chief minister and 12 will go to JD(S),” said Congress general secretary in charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal after the meeting.
“With the Chief Minister, one deputy CM will also be sworn in tomorrow. Congress state president Parameshwara is the nominee to that post. The rest of the ministers and portfolios will be decided after the floor test.”
A coordination committee to deal with issues between the two coalition partners will also be constituted in two days, he said.
The top JD(S) leadership – H D Devegowda and Kumaraswamy – Tuesday denied reports of differences between the coalition partners on Congress MLAs like D K Shivakumar and M B Patil for ministerial posts.
“We are not interfering in any way with the Congress’s choices. It is left to the Congress to decide who it wants in the ministry,” Devegowda said.
According to sources in the JD(S), “There are not many concerns in the JDS about the appointment of ministers but there are concerns of dissidence in the Congress if ministers are picked before the trust vote.”
The oath-taking ceremony for Kumaraswamy and Parameshwara Wednesday will have Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and party president Rahul Gandhi as prominent guests. The two Congress leaders are scheduled to meet the 78 Congress MLAs at the Hilton Hotel where they are housed to congratulate them for sticking together through the exercise of government formation.
Former UP chief ministers Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav will also attend the swearing-in ceremony with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, JDS officials said.
Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao called on Devegowda and Kumaraswamy Tuesday and offered his wishes and expressed his inability to attend the swearing-in ceremony. “Our effort is to bring together parties that are opposed to the undeclared emergency in the country,” JDS spokesperson Ramesh Babu said.