Cong-JD(S) ministry to be expanded on June 6: Kumaraswamy

Bengaluru, Jun 1 (PTI) The Congress-JDS ministry in Karnataka would be expanded on June 6, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said today, as the two parties announced a power-sharing agreement and decided to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as a pre-poll alliance.

The Congress has also decided to concede the finance department portfolio, which had proved to be a ticklish issue, to its junior partner.

Congress general secretary K C Venugopal announced the power-sharing agreement at a press conference in the presence of Kumaraswamy and senior party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and former chief minister Siddaramaiah.

Venugopal said the finance portfolio was allotted to the JD(S) as per the directions of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who emphasised that “this coalition government is the need of the hour for the country”.

According to the power-sharing agreement, the Congress would get the portfolios of home, irrigation, Bangalore city development, industry and sugar industry, health, revenue, urban development, rural development, agriculture, housing, medical education, social welfare, forest and environment, labour, mines and geology.

It will also hold charge of the departments women and child welfare, food and civil supplies, Haj, Wakf and minority affairs, law and parliamentary affairs, science and technology and information technology/bio-technology, youth, sports and Kannada culture and ports and inland transport development.

The JD(S) has been allotted the portfolios of finance, excise, information, intelligence, planning and statistics, public works department, power, cooperation, tourism, besides education, animal husbandry and fisheries, horticulture and sericulture, small scale industries, transport and minor irrigation.

The rest of the departments would be decided by the chief minister in consultation with Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, Venugopal said.

He also said the Congress and the JD(S) would fight the next Lok Sabha elections as a pre-poll alliance.

Both the parties reiterated their resolve to ensure that the coalition government, headed by Kumaraswamy, completed its full five-year term, a joint statement read out by Venugopal said.

The chief minister, along with his deputy, and KPCC chief G Parameshwara earlier called on Governor Vajubhai Vala to discuss the date for the expansion of his two-member ministry.