Karnataka ministry expansion: Rahul speaks to Deve Gowda

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Congress president Rahul Gandhi today spoke to JD(S) supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda over the phone, even as the two parties continued to grapple with the ticklish issue of ministry formation in Karnataka.

“Everything has been finalised — ministry formation, portfolio allocation and common minimum programme. Rahul Ji spoke to Deve Gowda Ji,” JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali told.

Gandhi has already spoken on a power-sharing arrangement with his party leaders over the phone from the US where he is with his mother, who has gone for a medical check-up, Congress sources had said in Delhi yesterday.

Ali said the ministry expansion would take place after June 5 because of unavailability of Governor Vajubhai Vala till then.

“The chief minister (H D Kumaraswamy) had sought time for the oath-taking ceremony from the governor, but he informed us that he would not be available in the city from Sunday (June 3). He is attending some important function,” he said.

“The governor will be back on the night of June 5. Only after that can we have the swearing-in ceremony,” he added.

Kumaraswamy, along with his deputy G Parameshwara, met the governor today to discuss the date for the swearing in.

Ali had said in Delhi yesterday that the parties had five rounds of talks and had decided that the JD(S) would get the finance portfolio.

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