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Karnataka cabinet: 'Heaven will not fall if there is no govt for sometime', says Chidambaram

By Deepika

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday said that heaven will not fall if there is no government in the Karnataka for 10-15 days.


Citing examples, Chidambaram said, "So what, Belgium did not have a government for 9 months. Italy has not had a government for several days now. Let it take 10-15 days, heavens are not going to fall."

It has been a week since HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular) took oath on May 23 as Karnataka chief minister and G Parameshwara of the Congress as deputy chief minister. But the rest of the state cabinet has not been appointed as the allies are vying for lucrative, revenue-generating portfolios.

With Rahul and Sonia Gandhi abroad, the discussions are being led by Ghulam Nabi Azad who held a series of meetings with Karnataka, Chief Minister, H D Kumaraswamy. The first stumbling block has been the finance portfolio which both parties are keen on keeping.

Kumaraswamy is keen on keeping the finance portfolio with himself as he wants to fulfil the promise of waiving off farm loans. This was part of the JD(S) manifesto, but the Congress had made no such poll promise.

During the first meeting, Azad cited to Kumaraswamy instances where the deputy CM in Karnataka has always retained the home portfolio. When Siddaramaiah and B S Yeddyurappa were deputy CMs in 2004 and 2006 respectively, both had held the finance portfolio.

However Kumaraswamy was not acceptable to this demand and even said that he would step down. This led Azad to change his track and he is said to have agreed to the demand.

Kumaraswamy made it clear that he was ready to compromise on the other portfolios, but not regarding finance and PWD.

The opposition has taken potshots over the delay in formation of the Karnataka government with some claiming that the delay is due to the absence of top party leaders mainly Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

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