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Karnataka govt formation: Rahul Gandhi meets senior Congress leaders ahead of Kumaraswamy visit

By Deepika

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has met Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot and KC Venugopal, AICC in charge for Karnataka, at his residence in Delhi ahead of his meeting with HD Kumaraswamy.

Rahul Gandhi

Kumaraswamy is likely to meet Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi later today to finalise the power-sharing arrangement in the southern state. The proposal of Congress having two Deputy Chief Ministers, the composition of the government and cabinet berths will be discussed at the meeting.

Earlier today, Kumaraswamy had said that "meeting Rahul Gandhi was not crucial, only cordial".

Reportedly, the Congress is likely to push for a Dalit and Lingayat MLA for the two posts.

KPCC chief, Dr. Parameshwar too hinted that there could be two deputies. Sources say that one of the deputy CMs could be Parameshwar himself. On the choice of Lingayat candidate, many in the Congress are in favour of Shamnur Shivshankarappa.

HD Kumaraswamy is likely to begin his term with a small cabinet initially. The JDS leader will take oath as chief minister on Wednesday, but the rest of the leaders will take oath only after the trust vote, which is expected the same day.

On Sunday, Kumaraswamy dismissed reports that the JD(S) and the Congress were working out a power-sharing formula for heading the government for 30 months each, similar to the agreement in 2006 between the JD(S) and the BJP, which had fallen through.

BS Yeddyurappa had stepped down as the chief minister without facing the floor test in the state assembly as the BJP fell short of numbers, following which Kumaraswamy met governor Vajubhai Vala, and said he had been invited to form the government.

The May 12 Karnataka assembly polls threw up a hung assembly, with the BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats.

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