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Decision on cabinet expansion or rejig to be taken soon: K'taka Cong chief

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Press Trust of India Bengaluru
Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao Friday said a decision on a cabinet expansion or reshuffle in the state government will be taken at the earliest.
The Congress in Karnataka over the last two days had gone into a huddle to avert a potential crisis to the one-year-old HD Kumaraswamy ministry and discussed about a possible cabinet rejig to address the dissent within.
Of the total 34 ministerial positions in Karnataka, the Congress and the JD(S) have 22 and 12 ministers respectively.Currently three posts are vacant -- two from JD(S) and one from the Congress.
"Nothing on it (cabinet) till now, as the chief minister is in Delhi. Once he is back we will talk to him....I can't say anything more, it will be decided at the earliest," Rao told reporters here in response to a question.
During a series of meetings, Congress leaders, including general secretary K C Venugopal, deputed by the party high command, have discussed the reasons for the Lok Sabha poll drubbing, the need for the continuation of the coalition government and ways to end disgruntlement through cabinet rejig.
Though Congress leaders on Wednesday were unable to reach a consensus on whether to go for a cabinet expansion by filling the three vacant posts or a reshuffle by asking a few ministers to step down and make way for the disgruntled lawmakers, CLP leader Siddaramaiah had Thursday indicated a reshuffle was on the cards.
Party sources also said there were talks about first filling up three vacant posts and then going in for a reshuffle, if the need arises.
Worries for the coalition, which has been rocked by dissidence, have multiplied after BJP's spectacular win with 25 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in its pocket, leaving a mere one seat each to the Congress and the JD(S), which, despite a joint fight, were swept away by the Modi wave.
Growing unrest within the party and threat by rebel MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi to quit Congress along with other MLAs also has worried the leadership, as it would trigger a number game in the assembly.
The talk about cabinet reshuffle or expansion has also given rise to number of aspirants within the party.

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First Published: May 31 2019 | 10:00 PM IST

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