JD(S), Congress lock horns over finance portfolio

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Sunday hinted that there was a tug of war between the Congress and JD(S) over portfolio allocation. Kumaraswamy is keen on keeping the finance portfolio with himself as he would be in a better position to handle the state finances. The Congress, however, is not willing to let go.

During a three-hour meeting at Ghulam Nabi Azad’s residence in New Delhi, Kumaraswamy reportedly told Congress leaders that it has been the convention in coalition governments in Karnataka to allow the junior partner to keep the finance portfolio. When Congress leaders argued on why it had the right to stake claim to the key portfolio, the CM sought time, saying he would consult JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda.

In addition to finance, the JD(S) has also conveyed to the Congress that it wants key portfolios like PWD, irrigation and Bengaluru development.

“Congress wants all the key portfolios, leaving animal husbandry, labour, fisheries, youth services, women and child welfare to us. It is not fair,” JD(S) sources said.

Speaking to reporters, Kumaraswamy conceded that Congress indeed wants finance. He, however, maintained that there were no differences between the two parties.

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