Ahead of oath ceremony, crucial JDS-Congress meeting on government formation

While HD Kumaraswamy will take oath as Karnataka CM on Wednesday, reports suggest Congress could push for two deputy CMs.

Ahead of oath ceremony, crucial JDS-Congress meeting on government formation
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Bengaluru: That JDS-Congress combine will form the next government in Karnataka is certain. That HD Kumaraswamy will take oath as CM on Wednesday too is equally certain. What isn't though is if he will take the oath alone or will he have his fellow ministers on stage as well. And if so, how many from his party and from its post-poll alliance partner?

The answers to these critical questions doing the rounds in Karnataka's political circles after a week of intense tussle against BJP may become clear on Tuesday when top state leaders of both JDS and Congress meet to iron out any possible proverbial creases.

When Congress offered unconditional support to JDS in a post-poll alliance after counting, it was clear that the second-largest party was ready to have a CM from JDS. In return, political analysts believed that the party may want two deputy CMs - both from Congress. While there is no clarity yet on this, reports suggest G Parmeshwar - Karnataka Congress president, and someone from the Lingayat community could be appointed as Kumaraswamy's deputies.

There are isolated reports of some rifts. But both JDS and Congress have denied it and said final modalities are all that remains.

The two parties have been in celebration mode since BJP's BS Yeddyurappa resigned two days after becoming CM and minutes before a crucial floor test. He was invited to form the government because BJP was the single-largest party although no party had majority after elections in the state. It was a tussle for power of epic proportions with Congress lambasting Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision and rushing to Supreme Court.  Many believe that Supreme Court's decision to reduce time given to Yeddyurappa to prove majority - from 15 days to 24 hours - is what compelled the veteran BJP politician to tender his resignation and pave the way for the JDS-Congress combine to stake claim to form the government.

And while Yeddyurappa's oath ceremony last Thursday was a solo and subdued affair, Wednesday's ceremony is expected to be a grand display with invites already sent to leaders of several regional parties like Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Mamata Banerjee. Congress President Rahul Gandhi - who had actively campaigned before the elections, and mother Sonia are also expected at Bengaluru's Kanteerava Stadium.

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