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Siddaramaiah meets Sonia, Rahul in Delhi ahead of cabinet expansion in K'taka

IANS | May 26, 2023 12:59 PM

NEW DELHI: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah met former party presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at their residence here on Friday, a day after meeting senior party leaders to discuss the cabinet expansion in the state.

Siddaramaiah, who had arrived in the national cabinet on Wednesday evening, met Sonia Gandhi for the first time after he took oath as the Chief Minister last Saturday in Bengaluru.

The meeting between the three leaders lasted for over 30 minutes during which they reportedly discussed fulfilling promises the party made to the people of the state and also to focus on governance.

It is also learnt that the leaders discussed the cabinet expansion in the state.

On Thursday, Siddaramaiah along with his deputy D.K. Shivakumar, met with Karnataka in charge Randeep Singh Surjewala and party general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal to discuss the cabinet expansion.

At least 20 to 24 names were discussed during the meeting of Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar with Surjewala and Venugopal.

The source said that 20 to 24 more ministers will take oath on Saturday around 11.30 a.m.

However, senior leaders remained tight-lipped on the development.

Siddaramaiah took oath as Chief Minister, while Karnataka Congress chief Shivakumar took oath as his deputy on Saturday in Bengaluru in presence of top party leaders and several prominent opposition leaders.

Besides the two, eight more ministers -- G. Parmeshwara, K.H. Muniyappa, K.J. George, M.B. Patil, Satish Jarkiholi, Priyanka Kharge, Ramalimga Reddy and B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan -- had also taken an oath.

However, none of them have been allocated any portfolio yet.

The source said that the Congress will have to strike a balance in the cabinet allocation as it needs to balance the demands of different communities in the cabinet.

The politically crucial Lingayat community, which voted in the favour of the party had claimed for the CM post, but in absence of a CM from the community, it is speculated that a chunk of ministerial berths will go to Lingayat MLAs.

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