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Karnataka Government Formation: Congress to get deputy CM, speaker posts

A day ahead of H D Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in as chief minister of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka, it has been reported that Congress party is likely to get the post of speaker besides the two deputy Chief Minister posts as its numbers are double than that of JD(S). However, the final deal would be sealed today in Bengaluru, sources close to both the parties informed a daily.

The CM-designate met Rahul and his mother, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, at the Congress chief ’s residence on Monday evening. The visit was a courtesy call to invite the Congress leaders for the swearing-in. It was preceded by a half-hour meeting with pre-poll ally and BSP chief Mayawati, JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali said.

Congress has reportedly decided to give one of the deputy CM posts to G Parameshwara, who is from the Dalit community. Notably, the grand old party which won 78 seats in Karnataka Assembly elections, is likely to get 20 berths in the 33-member Karnataka cabinet. The JD(S), which has 37 MLAs after H D Kumaraswamy vacated his Ramanagara seat, will get the rest of the seats.

Rahul and Kumaraswamy alluded to the history of acrimony between Congress and JD(S) to say they should forget the past and look to the future. Congress sources said the party’s entire focus was on Kumaraswamy’s oath, the election of the speaker and the confidence motion, and no formal negotiations were held on the specifics of power-sharing.

The ceremony will witnesses a gathering of non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief ministers and chiefs of opposition parties. Among those attending the ceremony are Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Puducherry Chief Minister Narayanasamy, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao.

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