Speaking to mediapersons here, Kumaraswamy admitted that his brother and JD(S) MLA HD Revanna and Congress troubleshooter DK Shivakumar were both keen on the energy portfolio. “However, at the end of the day, with a certain national political consideration and to ensure that the coalition runs smoothly over the next five years, the Congress high command and JD(S) took a decision to divide the portfolios in a certain manner. There is no dismay between the two parties,” he said.
It was widely reported that Shivakumar was unhappy with the energy portfolio being handed over to JD(S). Shivakumar was energy minister in the previous Siddaramaiah government.
The chief minister also sought to dispel speculation that Revanna had pressured him and their father and JD(S) national president HD Deve Gowda to ensure that the party retains the portfolio.
“I admit that we sought the finance portfolio to be retained by me, as being the CM and having promised several schemes for the state, I need to have control over the finances. But barring that portfolio, there was no tug-of-war for any other portfolio. The portfolio divisions were deliberated upon and decided by us and the Congress high command in consultation with AICC president Rahul Gandhi,” Kumaraswamy said, categorically denying reports that Gowda had intervened on behalf of his brother and himself.
Meanwhile, JD(S) is now faced with many contenders for the prominent portfolios the party has bagged. Prominent among them is Chamundeshwari MLA GT Deve Gowda who has thrown his hat in the ring for the crucial public works department (PWD) even as Revanna is seen to be keen on retaining PWD and energy.
GT Deve Gowda is believed to have threatened that he will not accept any other portfolio. The Chamundeshwari MLA shot to fame by defeating former CM Siddaramaiah by a huge margin from what was believed to be a Congress bastion.