Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) have agreed to a broad power-sharing formula on Tuesday, a day ahead of the swearing-in of H.D. Kumaraswamy as chief minister in Karnataka.
The Congress’s state unit chief, G. Parameshwara, will be the deputy chief minister. The party will also get two-thirds of the ministerial berths. “Out of the 34 ministries, 22 will be with the Congress and 12 including the CM will be with the JD(S),” K.C. Venugopal, Congress general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, said in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
The Speaker in the Karnataka Assembly will also be from the Congress, while the deputy speaker will be from the JDS. KR Ramesh Kumar will be appointed the Speaker. Kumar won from the Srinivasapur seat in south Karnataka. The appointment of Parameshwara, a Dalit, as the deputy CM could help the Congress woo the community ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election. The SC/ST communities are estimated to make up about a fourth of Karnataka’s population. He will be the first Dalit to be appointed to the post in Karnataka.
Parameshwara is a five-time MLA and has been chief of the KPCC for eight years now. He was also in contention to become the chief minister in 2013 but lost out to Siddaramaiah.
In the past six decades, no Dalit leader made it to the post of CM or Deputy CM in Karnataka. Political parties mostly preferred people mostly from the dominant communities of Lingayat and Vokkaligas. While opposition chief minister J.H.Patel (1996-1999) the Opposition Congress, had projected Malikarjun Kharge, then KPCC president, as next CM. But when the party won elections in 1999, it nominated S M Krishna.
Kumaraswamy, the third son of JD(S) supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, will be administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Vajubhai Vala at 4.30 pm in front of Vidhana Soudha, seat of the government in Bengaluru.