Talks of real challenges surface a week into Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka

Talks of the division of power, hierarchy and cabinet berths and portfolios have just begun between the parties, and leaders of the Congress are preparing for “difficult times ahead”.

Published: 22nd May 2018 02:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2018 04:05 AM   |  A+A-

JD()S leader and Karnataka Chief Minister-designate H D Kumaraswamy presents a bouquet to Congress president Rahul Gandhi during a meeting at latter's residence in New Delhi on Monday. Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi is also seen. | PTI

By Express News Service

BENGALURU/NEW DELHI: Even as JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy gears up to take oath as Chief Minister of Karnataka, Congress leaders have begun opening up about the “real challenges” that lie ahead of the coalition as well as within the party.

While many senior Congress leaders are mentally preparing to let go of their aspirations for ministerial berths in the current scenario, others are acknowledging the very real discomfort among members about the tie-up.

Talks of the division of power, hierarchy and cabinet berths and portfolios have just begun between the parties, and leaders of the Congress are preparing for “difficult times ahead”.

“We are able to visualise the challenges ahead but we need to work together. We will see difficult times ahead and we are aware of people’s sentiments against the tie-up,” said KPCC president G Parameshwara.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday said considering the Congress’ large number of legislators, the party should be given more cabinet berths. 

Anticipating disagreements over cabinet berths, Kumaraswamy, who met AICC president Rahul and Sonia Gandhi on Monday evening, told the media that nuances of the alliance will be worked out in coordination with the Congress’ national leadership before the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday.“We (Congress-JDS) are in an alliance in Bengaluru’s Municipal Corporation for three years now and it has been running smoothly. Not all can become ministers and sacrifices are required from both sides,” senior Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy acknowledged after a meeting of party leaders at a star hotel where legislators of the Congress are herded. 

While Kumaraswamy has rubbished reports of disgruntlement already surfacing in the coalition, the coming week is expected to be a crucial one that will decide the workable structure of the JD(S)-Congress combine.

Meanwhile, AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal, who has been briefed by Rahul, is expected to hold consultations with Kumaraswamy on the flight to Bengaluru, said the sources. “The deputy CM will be elected to balance the caste equations,” said a senior AICC functionary.

Both Rahul and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru on Wednesday. While Kumaraswamy said the Gandhis had agreed to come, Rahul confirmed he was going.

“I had a warm and cordial meeting this evening, in Delhi, with H D Kumaraswamy ji,” Rahul tweeted.


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