NEW DELHI: Deliberations over government formation in Karnataka shifted from Bengaluru to New Delhi as senior state Congress leaders has begun to lobby for cabinet berths in the national capital.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will take a final call on the cabinet list but before that party managers will have to deal with hectic consultations and manoeuvring as Karnataka leaders vie for the 21 posts they will get in the HD Kumaraswamy government.
“There are too many aspirants for the remaining 21 cabinet berths. We may have to make some sacrifices to present a good team as a lot of balancing on regional and caste lines would have to be done,” a party insider told Express.
For that purpose, a battery of Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara, DK Shivakumar, KG George, Ramalinga Reddy, Dinesh Gundurao and SR Patil reached New Delhi along with AICC in charge KC Venugopal and his four secretaries to shortlist the cabinet hopefuls.
Veterans from Karnataka including Mallikarjun Kharge, M Veerappa Moily, Oscar Fernandes and BK Hariprasad are also part of the consultations besides Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot, said the sources.
Incidentally, while Azad and Gehlot played a key role in sewing up the Congress-JD-S alliance, former minister Shivakumar was the man who protected 117 alliance lawmakers from being poached by BJP.
“Shivakumar, a Vokkaliga may want his pound of flesh now,” said a party leader.
Further, the Congress leadership also has to take a call on how many of the four first time women lawmakers should be included in the cabinet.