Karnataka deal: Congress CM, JD-S deputy

PTI | ByHT Correspondents, Delhi/bangalore
May 26, 2004 12:36 AM IST

As part of the Maharashtra-model-deal, there will be a deputy CM from the JD-S. Also, 60 per cent of the ministers will be from JD-S.

Congress Legislature Party leader N. Dharam Singh will be the new chief minister of Karnataka. An agreement has been reached between the Congress and the JD-S, Congress sources in New Delhi said.

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As part of the deal based on the Maharashtra model, there will be a deputy chief minister from the JD-S. Also, 60 per cent of the ministers will be from the JD-S.

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Earlier in Bangalore, there were indications that the JD-S may agree to play second fiddle to the Congress. JD-S leader H.D. Deve Gowda and a majority of his legislators appeared to have come to this view as the Congress has more numbers in the Assembly (65 in a House of 224 against 58 of the JD-S). Besides, Gowda had no significant bargaining power left having won just two Lok Sabha seats.

On Tuesday, Maharashtra strongman and union food minister Sharad Pawar also entered the scene. Pawar spoke to Gowda on the telephone and told the former Prime Minister to agree to a Congress-led government headed by Dharam Singh.

Singh, 68, is a Rajput and is not part of the state's volatile caste politics. But K. Siddaramaiah, whom the JD-S had elected as its leader, continued to insist that he would be the chief minister. Gowda was closeted with Siddaramaiah for a long time and the details of their talks were not immediately available.

Senior leaders of both the camps, including Gowda, are expected to be in Delhi on Wednesday and meet central leaders of the Congress, including party president Sonia Gandhi.

Dharam Singh, meanwhile, began addressing the media as if he were already a chief minister and started talking about his "priorities" like supplying free power and good roads.

Singh was elected CLP leader on Monday.


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