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Congress offers power-sharing

The party is making a last-ditch bid to save the coalition govt in Karnataka.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 14:30 IST

In a last-ditch bid to save the coalition government in Karnataka, Congress on Friday offered JD(S) 'Maharashtra model' power-sharing formula.

The offer came just before Chief Minister N Dharam Singh was to seek a vote of confidence in the assembly with the numbers going against him.

Minutes before Singh left for the Assembly session, AICC General Secretary AK Antony said the 'Maharashtra formula', under which crucial Home and Water Resources portfolios will be conceded, had been offered to JD(S) to save the coalition government and its response was awaited.

"We are willing to agree for the Maharashtra Government formula. We have agreed for that to save the government," Antony told reporters after a meeting with the Chief Minister and KPCC President Mallikarjun Kharge.

According to sources, under the formula as in Maharashtra, Congress would retain chief ministership and allot portfolios of Home and Water Resources to JDS in exchange for Revenue and Industries held by the latter.

Meanwhile, significantly, JD(S), which is facing a revolt by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda's son HD Kumaraswamy, is unlikely to issue any whip to its MLAs to vote for the motion.

"There is no move to issue a whip", JD(S) spokesman YSV Datta said before the assembly session.

Political observers say this means JD(S) would not go the whole hog to save its coalition government with Congress.

Continuing its belligerence, the JD(S) rebel group chief Kumaraswamy, who was elected as the faction's legislature party leader after the revolt, issued a whip asking his MLAs to vote against the motion.

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 12:18 IST