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Karnataka: Portfolio allocation delayed as Rahul, Sonia travel abroad

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Allocation of portfolios for the newly sworn-in JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka will be delayed further as UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is travelling abroad with her son and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

Karnataka: Portfolio allocation delayed as Rahul, Sonia travel abroad

The meeting to decide on the portfolio allocation has been postponed for a week as Sonia Gandhi is travelling abroad with her son tonight for health check-up.

"The meeting is most likely to be held on June 4-5," sources said.

The Congress and the JD(S) are at loggerheads over the allocation of key portfolios such as Finance, Home, Public Works Department (PWD) and Power, Irrigation and Urban Development.

The Congress is waiting for the JD(S) to come out with its list of portfolios.

Yesterday, JD(S) leader and chief minister HD Kumaraswamy admitted that there were some "issues" over the allocation of portfolios with the coalition partner.

On May 23, Kumaraswamy and G Parameshwara of the Congress took oath and chief minister and deputy chief minister respectively.

In addition, it has already been decided that Congress would have 21 ministers and JD(S) 11 in the new council of ministers.

The sources said that the Congress demanded finance as in the previous coalition government in the state in 2004-06 (JDS-Congress) as well as in 2006-08 (JDS-BJP), the portfolio had gone to those who held the deputy chief minister's post.

There is also discussion and demand that the party should induct new faces in the cabinet.

Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah who was in the national capital held talks with ministerial aspirants here.

Yesterday, the Congress president held the first round of discussion on portfolio allocation with senior party leaders of the state, but the meeting remained inconclusive.

Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara, senior leaders Mallikarjuna Kharge and DK Shivakumar as well as state party in charge KC Venugopal were present at the meeting.

Responding to questions on "cracks" in the Congress-JD(S) coalition, AICC spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohail said that when there is internal democracy, partners have a right to raise issues and these cannot be termed as "cracks".

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