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HD Kumaraswamy to take oath today

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on May 22, 2018 Published on May 22, 2018

JD(S) leader and Karnataka chief minister-designate HD Kumaraswamy visits the Manjunatha Swamy Temple in Dharmasthala, on Tuesday   -  PTI

Cross-section of non-BJP parties to attend ceremony

Several political A-listers will witness HD Kumaraswamy being sworn in as Karnataka’s 23rd Chief Minister on Wednesday morning, in what is being seen as the first coalescence of an anti-BJP formation before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress’ State unit President G Parameshwara will take oath as the Deputy CM, and the party will get 21 other Cabinet berths. KR Ramesh of the Congress will be the Speaker. The JD(S) will get the post of Deputy Speaker, and a total of 12 berths in the ministry.

In attendance will be Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, BSP supremo Mayawati, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav, chief ministers K Chandrasekhar Rao (Telangana), N Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh), Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala), V Narayanasamy (Puducherry), CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, and actor-politician Kamal Haasan.

The national import of the gathering of opposition parties, a year before the Lok Sabha polls, is clear: an opportunity for the formation of an anti-BJP grouping.

The BJP will observe a Black Day in the State, protesting the post-poll alliance between the JD(S) and the Congress.

On Tuesday, newspapers contained advertisements on behalf of the JD(S)-Congress coalition, inviting the people of Karnataka to attend the swearing-in ceremony. “Attend in lakhs and bless us. Let us build a prosperous State together,” it said.

The ad featured Kumaraswamy speaking with the Vidhana Soudha in the background, and also had five small photographs of HD Deve Gowda, Sonia Gandhi, Mayawati, Rahul Gandhi and a prominent picture for anti-Emergency crusader Jayaprakash Narayan.

In the recently-concluded Karnataka Assembly elections, the JD(S), in alliance with the BSP, fought the Congress and the BJP. The BJP emerged the single-largest party with 104 seats, while the Congress, with 78 seats, came second, and the JDS (37) third. The BSP has one MLA and Independents won in two seats.

JD(S) Floor Leader in the Legislative Council, Basavaraj Horatti, said his party had come to terms with an alliance with the Congress. “Yes, we fought bitterly pre-election and now we have come together forgetting the bitter past to form a government.”

“Yes, there may be differences [but] we have decided to contain it instead of blowing it up. Since we have worked with the Congress and BJP earlier, the past experience is expected to see us through.”

Condemning the BJP for spreading lies, Horatti said: “The confusion is being created by BJP by spreading lies that Deve Gowda started to meddle with beaurecracy and police establishments.”

“The BJP, in its failure to grab power, has become desperate.”

Published on May 22, 2018
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