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Will Congress Appoint One Dalit, One Muslim Deputy CMs in Karnataka?

(L-R) JD-S leader Danish Ali, Rahul Gandhi, HD Kumaraswamy, Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on 21 May 2018 (Photo @INCIndia)

Caravan News

BENGALURU: Janata Dal Secular chief HD Kumaraswamy met the two most powerful Gandhis in Delhi on Monday to formally ink his upper-hand partnership with Congress in the Karnataka government. There is a buzz that Congress wants its two Deputy CMs for CM-designate Kumaraswamy.

In the evening of the Assembly poll results on 15th May, Congress had offered CM post to JD-S of 37 seats as it slipped from 122 seats to 78. This was to keep BJP of 104 seats from power. Leaders from both Congress and JD-S jointly met Governor in the evening and staked claim to form government. However, the Governor invited BJP to form government and BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa was sworn-in as CM on Friday. But as the saffron party could not ‘win’ required number of MLAs to get simple majority mark, Yeddyurappa resigned on Saturday minutes before facing the trust vote. And now Kumaraswamy is set to be sworn-in as CM on Wednesday.

There is speculation that Congress wants a Dalit and a Lingayat Deputy CMs. However, the JD-S is believed to be not agreeing on second deputy. The Congress may want to keep both Dalits and Lingayats in good humor before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as the overwhelming majority of Lingayats are said to have not supported Congress even after minority status announcement.

Meanwhile, a section in the Muslim community is expecting that Congress may push a Muslim as Deputy CM along with a Dalit. This would send a big message across the largest minority in the country.

In the recent Assembly polls, seven Muslims, all on the Congress tickets, have won, five of them including veteran Roshan Baigh are sitting MLAs.

It seems today’s meeting was smooth and it is evident from Rahul Gandhi’s statement soon after the meeting.

“I had a warm and cordial meeting this evening, in Delhi, with Shri H D Kumaraswamy ji. We discussed the political situation in Karnataka and other matters of mutual interest. I will be attending his swearing in as CM of Karnataka, on Wednesday, in Bengaluru,” tweeted Rahul.

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