BENGALURU: The wait is getting longer for the people of Karnataka to have a full-fledged government. The ministry formation is likely to be delayed further as the coalition partners Congress and JD(S) have failed to end the deadlock over sharing of meaty portfolios on Sunday. Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi left for the US on Sunday afternoon. Essentially, his foreign trip is now being used as an excuse to buy more time to hold talks.
“All progress is stopped for four days at least. We will resume the decision-making process after Rahul Gandhi returns from his trip,” said a Congress source. Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah speaking to reporters in Delhi on Sunday said, “Decisions could not be taken since Rahul Gandhi was preparing for his trip. We will make decisions once he returns to India.”
However, Rahul has authorised AICC leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot to hold one more round of talks with the state party leaders and also with Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy who will be in Delhi on Monday.For three days now the coalition partners have been sparring over portfolios and with no solution in sight, and more talks seem to be the only way forward. While Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, KPCC chief G Parameshwara, KPCC campaign committee chairman D K Shivakumar met Rahul Gandhi on Saturday with a list of ministerial aspirants, no decision has been made on who will be accommodated. Both partners are refusing to budge over at least five plum portfolios.
The fight for finance, public works department(PWD), water resources, revenue and energy has proved the stumbling block for ministry formation. According to sources, JD(S) has stood firm on its demand for finance, PWD and water resources portfolios leaving out home, revenue, energy and Bengaluru Development for Congress. However, finance and PWD are proving the big hurdle as Congress too has a staked strong claim for these two portfolios.
The Congress demand has not gone down well with Kumaraswamy and he is said to have sent a clear message that the post of CM for him would be meaningless without the finance portfolio as he had to deliver on his promise of farm loan waiver, `6,000 per month honorarium for senior citizens and `1.50 lakh crore allocation for irrigation. As for deciding the composition of the ministry, Congress leaders claimed that their list is almost ready. Veerahshaiva-Lingayat community is set to get a big share of berths in Congress while Vokkaligas will get the biggest share in JD(S).
Speaking to The New Indian Express, a senior Congress leader said, “Even in the previous coalition government when Dharam Singh was the CM, the finance portfolio was with the coalition partner JD(S) with Siddaramaiah as the Finance Minister. Similarly in the BJP-JD(S) 20:20 coalition, Kumaraswamy was the CM and coalition partner BJP had finance with B S Yeddyurappa, the DyCM being the Finance Minister. We want the same principle applied here as we have given the CM post to JD(S).”
Kumaraswamy was more forthright about hiccups over sharing of portfolios and delivering on his promise of farm loan waiver. “It is normal for political parties to demand prominent portfolios in a coalition. Congress has been demanding finance portfolio. It is yet to be resolved.”
Dismissing it as a minor issue, he said, “It is not right to say that a crisis has erupted between the coalition partners,” he added.
As for deciding the composition of the ministry, Congress leaders claimed that their list is almost ready. Veerahshaiva-Lingayat community is set to get a big share of berths in Congress while Vokkaligas will get the biggest share in JD(S). The partners have shared the 34 ministerial berths in the ratio of 22 for Congress and 12 for JD(S) including the CM post.
According to Congress sources, Shamanuru Shivashankarappa, Eshwar Khandre, H K Patil and M B Patil are likely to get the berths under Veerashaiva-Lingayat quota, D K Shivakumar, M Krishnappa and Sudhakar under Vokkaliga quota. Though Krishna Byre Gowda’s name is also doing the rounds, the party leadership, it is learnt, is contemplating to draft some of the prominent leaders who could not be accommodated in the ministry for party work. Byre Gowda could be drafted for party work if he fails to make the cut.
While R V Deshapande is set to get the berth from Brahmin community, uncertainty looms large over Dinesh Gundu Rao. Among the Muslims, Roshan Baig is a sure shot while competition is intense between Tanveer Sait and U T Khader for one more slot in the ministry.
Among the JD(S) members, H D Revanna, H Vishwanath, G T Devegowda, Bandeppa Kashempur, Basavaraj Horatti, K Annadani, C N Balakrishna, Sa Ra Mahesh, Gopalaiah, C S Puttaraju, D C Thammanna, M K Shivalinge Gowda, S R Srinivas (Vasu) figure prominently for a berth in the ministry.
Am indebted to Cong, not to people: HDK
Bengaluru: Newly sworn-in Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Sunday delivered a shocker when he said that he was indebted to the Congress and not to the voters of Karnataka. Kumaraswamy was using the phrase to express his inability to take a decision on farm loan waiver. “I am today in the Congress’ debt, not in the debt of six crore Kannadigas. I am Chief Minister because of the Congress leaders’ support,” Kumaraswamy said, leading to an uproar on social media.
The BJP tore into Kumaraswamy for his “misplaced sense of gratitude”. Not the one to let Kumaraswamy’s blunder slip, the party has gone all guns blazing against the Chief Minister. “Sri @hd_kumaraswamy Hon’ble @CMofKarnataka says he is indebted to @INCIndia not to 6.0 crore Kannadigas . Sir I would like to ask u 1) will u compromise interest of Kannadigas just to retain your power 2)Whats your local standee for corrupt congress is it partnership enterprise (sic),” Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda tweeted on Sunday. Kumaraswamy’s statement over farm loan waiver comes at a time when BJP has called for a statewide bandh (barring Bengaluru) on Monday, — a call that farmer unions are not keen to back.