Cong, JD(S) vow long term ties, look to work out power sharing deal

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: 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 Photo)

New Delhi: JD(S) leader and Karnataka chief minister-designate HD Kumaraswamy presents a bouquet to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, during a meeting at latter’s residence, in New Delhi on May 21, 2018. PTI

Karnataka’s chief minister-designate HD Kumaraswamy on Monday met with the Congress’ top leadership – Rahul and Sonia Gandhi – where the two sides initiated the talks on power sharing. As per the reports, the Congress-JD(S) combine will have a coordination committee to ensure smooth functioning of the government, and the Assembly Speaker will be from the Congress.

There are also reports of Congress bagging the post of Deputy Chief Minister though there has been no official word on the same.

Kumaraswamy also invited Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to his swearing-in in Bengaluru on May 23, which is billed to be grand affair displaying opposition unity. While Rahul Gandhi confirmed he will be attending the ceremony, several other Opposition leaders will also attend the function.

The top leadership of the two parties decided to make a new beginning leaving behind the past, when they had come together and fallen apart, and vowed to have “a long-term relationship”.

The sources said the Congress leadership would take a call on who would be its deputy chief minister when the leaders of the two parties would meet in Bangaluru on Tuesday to finalise the modalities of power sharing.

The sources add that only a few ministers were likely to take oath initially on May 23 along with the chief minister and other modalities would be worked out in the coming days.

New Delhi: JD(S) leader and Karnataka chief minister-designate H D Kumaraswamy with Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Congress General Secretary and Karnataka In-charge K.C. Venugopal during a meeting  in New Delhi on May 21, 2018. PTI

New Delhi: JD(S) leader and Karnataka chief minister-designate H D Kumaraswamy with Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Congress General Secretary and Karnataka In-charge K.C. Venugopal during a meeting in New Delhi on May 21, 2018.
PTI

There are also reports of Congress mooting the idea of having two deputy chief ministers in order to honour its numerically strong factions but the JD(S) is believed to be not in favour of this proposal.

During his 20-minute meeting with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Kumaraswamy is understood to have discussed the nitty-gritty of Cabinet formation and the number of ministerial berths the two parties would get. The meeting took place at Rahul Gandhi’s Tughlak Lane residence.

“There is no bargain. We will cordially work out things. We must work together. I am here to take their (Congress leaders) advice,” Kumaraswamy told the press after his meeting at Tughlak Lane.

We are going to give a stable government, he stressed and told that several other issues are yet to be discussed. “We have not discussed any future course of action,” he said.

Kumaraswamy is expected to take the floor test within 24 hours after being sworn in. Both Congress and JD(S) MLAs will remain confined to their hotels till the floor test, according to reports from Bengaluru.

(With inputs from PTI)