After major political upheaval finally Kumaraswamy will sworn as CM of Karnataka!
Finally, day has arrived H D Kumaraswamy will sworn as Chief Minister of Karnataka today at a ceremony attended by a galaxy of opposition leaders and chief ministers, a development that could plant a seed for a broad-based anti-BJP platform before the Lok Sabha polls next year. Kumaraswamy will be the second chief minister to take oath in Karnataka within a week, after state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa stepped down without facing the floor test on May 19 in the face of an imminent defeat.
It will be Kumaraswamy’s second term in office. He had earlier headed the JD(S)-BJP coalition government for 20 months, between February 2006 and October 2007.
Ministers in new government
Karnataka Congress president G Parameshwara who is dalit face will be sworn-in as the deputy chief minister, AICC general secretary in-charge of the state K C Venugopal said. He further added that Congress’s Ramesh Kumar, a former minister, will be the next Assembly speaker, while the deputy speaker’s post will go to the JD(S).
The first task for Kumaraswamy would be a smooth expansion of his Council of Ministers, as the Congress would want to have a big share in the ministerial pie as it has more than double the number of MLAs the JD(S) has.
The Congress would have 22 ministers and JD(S) 12, Venugopal said, adding that they would be sworn-in after the floor test slated for Friday. The Congress has 78 lawmakers in the Lower House against the 37 of the JD(S).
A section of Lingayat MLAs of the Congress wanted a person from their community to be the deputy chief minister as Kumaraswamy belongs to another politically influential caste, the Vokkaligas.However, Rahul Gandhi approved the name of Dalit leader G Parameshwara for the post, Venugopal said.
D K Shivakumar, another Vokkaliga leader of the Congress, who emerged as a key figure in keeping the party MLAs together before the trust vote, was also a contender for the deputy chief minister’s chair, but the party high-command opted for Parameshwara.
Time, location of swearing-in ceremony
Kumaraswamy, the third son of JD(S) supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, will be administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Vajubhai Vala at 4:30 pm in front of the Vidhana Soudha, the seat of the government in Bengaluru.
A huge stage has been erected in front of the majestic stone building for the ceremony where a host of national and regional leaders are expected to be present to send a message across to the BJP over the shape of things to come in 2019.
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Top opposition leaders to attend ceremony
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, N Chandrababu Naidu, Arvind Kejriwal and Pinarayi Vijayan, her counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Kerala respectively, are among those likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Tejashwi Yadav, the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah are also among the invitees.
BSP chief Mayawati and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav, who have formed an alliance in Uttar Pradesh, would also attend the ceremony.
DMK leader M K Stalin, who was also expected to be present in order to show the burgeoning opposition consolidation against the BJP, has cancelled his Bengaluru visit and would instead head for Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, where nine people were killed in police firing today.
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