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Cong, JD(S) haggle over portfolios

Sunday 30 May 2004

BANGALORE: As Congress and JD(S) leaders haggled over portfolios after forming the coalition government in Karnataka, AICC General Secretary Vilasrao Deshmukh on Sunday said there needed to be adjustment between the two parties and expressed the hope of finding a solution to the issue.

"...all these issues are open for discussion. We (Congress-JD(S) combine) have to jointly run the government and perhaps, we will try to find a solution," Deshmukh, who is in charge of party’s Karnataka affairs, said, when asked about the portfolio sharing issue.

He said there was a coalition government in the state thus needed adjustment between the two parties.

"We have to decide and finalise," Deshmukh said.

After forming the state’s first-ever coalition government at the end of hard bargaining for nearly two weeks, the Congress and JD(S) have now got down to the nitty-gritty of portfolio allocation with each making its own demands.

The issue took a new turn on Saturday, when KPCC President B Janardhan Poojary insisted that the "Maharashtra model" of coalition in the state applied only for the posts of Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, and not for portfolios. In Maharashtra , the Congress is heading the coalition as bigger partner and left deputy chief ministership to its junior ally, NCP. Poojary also told the JD(S) not to impose any conditions or bargain for plum portfolios.

Chief Minister N Dharam Singh said on Saturday that he would complete the ministry expansion exercise in a week.

He is leaving for New Delhi on Monday to hold talks with the party high command.

See online : The Times of India


in The Times of India, Sunday, May 30, 2004.

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