A day after meeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Karnataka CM-designate HD Kumaraswamy will discuss cabinet sharing arrangement and deputy CM post with AICC general secretary KC Venugopal on Tuesday.
The Congress and the Janata Dal Secular (JD-S) stitched a post-poll alliance soon after the BJP fell short of the majority in Karnataka Assembly elections. The Congress gave up chief minister post to the JD-S in a bid to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the single largest party in a hung house, out of power.
However, the reports suggested that there were contentions between the parties over the issue of deputy CM’s post.
According to the sources, the Congress, having 78 MLAs wanted two deputy CMs—one a Dalit and another a Lingayat—and a lion’s share in the state’s cabinet. The JD-S, which has just 37 seats, wanted just one deputy CM.
Kumaraswamy on Monday met Sonia and Rahul to discussion the apprehensions between the parties over the cabinet sharing arrangement.
“Rahulji cleared the modalities to be done, he has given permission to Karnataka General Secy KC Venugopal to discuss all issues and finalise everything. Local leaders and he’ll sit together tomorrow to finalise things,” Kumaraswamy told reporters after the meeting.
The Gandhi's also told Kumaraswamy to “forget the past, look at the future and forge a long-term relationship”. The JD-S leader assured Gandhis that he would provide good governance to Karnataka for the next five years “without posing any problem to the Congress and its leaders”.
The Congress and the JD-S didn't want their coalition to be confined only to power-sharing in Karnataka and the parties were also in favour of a broader alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
"We don't want it (the tie-up) to be confined only to power-sharing but a future alliance... Both reciprocated the feelings," NDTV quoted Venugopal as saying.
Kumaraswamy will take oath as Karnataka CM on Wednesday. The ceremony is expected to be the show of Opposition parties strength ahead of next year's general elections.
Chief ministers from several states, including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, are likely to attend the ceremony.
Congress chief Rahul and his mother Sonia Gandhi has also been invited for the swearing-in ceremony. After the meeting with Kumaraswamy, the Congress president tweeted his acceptance of the invitation and said, "I had a warm and cordial meeting this evening, in Delhi, with Shri H D Kumaraswamy ji. We discussed the political situation in Karnataka and other matters of mutual interest. I will be attending his swearing-in as CM of Karnataka, on Wednesday, in Bengaluru."