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Congress Gets Deputy Chief Minister, Lion’s Share In Karnataka Ministries

Of the state’s 34 ministries, 22 would go to Congress and 12 — including the post of Chief Minister — will be with with JD(S), G Parameshwara said.

Story Highlights

  • Of the state’s 34 ministries, 22 would go to Congress, 12 to JDS
  • The post of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker will be evenly divided
  • Berths will be decided after floor test, which will be held on Thursday
Bengaluru: Karnataka will have its second chief minister in a week as Janata Dal Secular chief HD Kumaraswamy will take oath today along with his deputy, Congress’ G Parameshwara. There was no word on whether there would be a second deputy for Mr Kumaraswamy – a Congress plan on which the two parties did not appear to be on the same page.

At a meeting this evening, the two parties also finalised the shape of the cabinet. Of the state’s 34 ministries, 22 would go to the Congress and 12, including the post of the Chief Minister, will be with the JD(S), said Mr Parameshwara, who also heads the state unit of the Congress.

The berths will be decided after floor test, which will be held tomorrow, said KK Venugopal, one of the key Congress leaders from Karnataka.

The post of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker will be evenly divided – the Speaker will be from the Congress, his deputy will be from the Janata Dal United. The Congress has named Ramesh Kumar for the job, the JD(S) is yet to name its candidate.

The crucial meeting was held after a green signal from Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, whom Mr Kumaraswamy met in Delhi on Monday. The agenda also included the matter of deputies as well as the power-sharing formula. Mr Gandhi, however, left the decisions on these issues to the state leaders, said Mr Venugopal, who was present at the meeting.

The Congress and the JD(S) had announced a last-minute tie-up during the counting of votes to keep the BJP out of power in the state. Though together, the two parties could command majority in the state assembly, the BJP, as the single largest party, was invited to form government by Governor Vajubhai Vala.

BS Yeddyurappa, who took oath on Thursday after a hectic appeal by the Congress and a midnight hearing in Supreme Court, stepped down minutes before Saturday’s trust vote, which many expected him to lose.

Mr Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi will be in Bengaluru today for the oath of Mr Kumaraswamy. The ceremony will be attended by a chunk of key opposition leaders, including chief ministers of four states.

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