BENGALURU: HD Kumaraswamy is likely to take oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka along with 20 MLA of the Janata Dal Secular (JDS), 13 MLAs of the Congress, say sources. The alliance reportedly has a reached on 20-13 agreement. Congress leader G Parameshwara is likely to be sworn in as the Deputy CM.
The swearing-in ceremony was likely to take place on Monday earlier but was deferred to May 23 as May 21 is the death anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. "We are going to take oath on Wednesday as Monday is Rajiv Gandhi's death anniversary. That is not a proper date. In the entire country, all the Congress workers will be attending death anniversary events. Conducting oath taking ceremony at that time is not good," Kumaraswamy said.
Kumaraswamy was invited to form the government by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R Vala after Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) BS Yeddyurappa resigned from his post ahead of the floor test in the state assembly. Yeddyurappa, in his address at the Vidhana Soudha said he will fight for the rights of the people of Karnataka till his last breath, even if he did not get the required mandate.
The 75-year-old Lingayat stalwart's resignation paves the way for formation of a government led by JDS state chief HD Kumaraswamy. The newly formed alliance has claimed support of 117 MLAs in the 224-member House with an effective strength of 221. The 58-year-old leader, son of JD(S) supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, said the governor gave him 15 days to prove his majority, but asserted "we don't need 15 days".
The political instability in the state stemmed from a split verdict the electorate gave on May 15, with the BJP emerging as the single-largest party but falling short of a majority. The Congress, which finished second with 78 seats, moved swiftly and stitched an alliance with 37-member JD(S), and even backed its leader H D Kumaraswamy for chief ministership, plunging the state into a welter of confusion, with accusations of bribery and poaching flying thick and fast.
Amid allegations of poaching attempts by the BJP, the Congress herded its MLAs at a resort outside Bengaluru, while those of the JD(S) hunkered down in a hotel in the state capital. They were later shifted to a hotel in Hyderabad and returned only after the Supreme Court yesterday ordered a floor test on a Congress-JD(S) petition.