Bengaluru: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi met senior party leaders from Karnataka today to discuss and draw up a list of ministers for the government led by HD Kumaraswamy. The performance of the government will also be a factor in 2019 general elections. It also has broader implications for the rest of the country in view of the opposition show of strength at Kumaraswamy’s oath ceremony. As a first step, the party is looking at providing a stable government, with focus on 2019. It is believed that 33 ministers will be in the cabinet and 22 will be from Congress.
For now, the Congress has to pick 15 cabinet ministers. The final call will be taken by Mr Gandhi and K Venugopal, the in-charge of the party’s state unit. Sources said Mr Gandhi is also taking the opportunity to review last month’s assembly election, in which Congress’ Siddaramaiah-led government was voted out. Though a delegation has come to Delhi from Karnataka, which includes the party’s senior leaders, Mr Gandhi is having one-on-one interaction with many of them, sources said.
One of these was DK Shivakumar, the senior party leader who was seen as angling for the post of the deputy chief minister – an idea that leaders of Mr Kumaraswamy’s JD(S) was opposed to. The portfolios of finance, excise and transport will go to the JD(S). The Congress gets to retain home, industries and revenue among other portfolios.