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Congress-JD(S) power-sharing deal likely soon | India News

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NEW DELHI: Amid mounting criticism, Congress defended the delay in finalising the power-sharing deal with Janata Dal (S) for Karnataka by saying that tying the loose ends takes time when an alliance government is being prepared for full term of five years. The two parties are locked in hard bargaining over ministerial portfolios to be distributed among them.

“Working out a coalition government takes some time initially. We have to finalise a common minimum programme, a coordination committee, views about fighting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls together, criteria for future appointment of chairmen to government corporations,” said AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot.

Gehlot rubbished the suggestions that the delay was linked to the absence of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is accompanying his mother Sonia Gandhi to the US on an annual medical check-up. “This is wrong perception. Rahul has left this issue to us, Congress leaders at the Centre and from the state. Even chief minister HD Kumaraswamy had come here for talks. It has nothing to do with Rahul not being here,” he told TOI.

Amid indications that negotiations may wind up on Thursday, Gehlot said finance ministry was not the sticking point in talks between Congress and JD (S). “There were coalition governments with Kumaraswamy as chief minister earlier and we have only cited those instances (on how finance ministry was allocated among alliance partners). We will decide accordingly,” the senior AICC leader said.

Gehlot pleaded for some more time for the deal to be clinched in the interest of stability. “It is not for short term but for five years that we are forming this government. Some issues have to be discussed initially. If it is done in haste, then the coalition does not work for long,” he argued.

Interestingly, the former Rajasthan CM made light of Kumaraswamy’s comment that “he was at the mercy of Congress” – a remark widely seen as aimed at embarrassing the senior partner to put it on the defensive at the outset.Congress-JD(S) power-sharing deal likely soon

Updated: May 30, 2018 — 10:06 pm

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