Karnataka government formation: Ahead of swearing-in, Kumaraswamy to meet Sonia Gandhi, Rahul on Monday

The three-day-old BJP government in Karnataka had collapsed on Saturday, minutes before the scheduled trust vote, with CM Yeddyurappa resigning with defeat staring him in the face. 

Karnataka government formation: Ahead of swearing-in, Kumaraswamy to meet Sonia Gandhi, Rahul on Monday
Pic courtesy: IANS (File image)
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Bengaluru: JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy will meet Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul in Delhi on Monday to discuss the modalities of government formation, ahead of his swearing-in as Karnataka CM. "I'm visiting New Delhi tomorrow... I will meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi and the party's senior leader Sonia Gandhi," he told reporters in Bengaluru. Based on the outcome of discussions with them, a decision will be taken on the number of Congress and JD(S) MLAs who will become ministers, Kumaraswamy added.

He also made it clear that there have been no discussions yet on the portfolio allocation and requested the media not to create confusion among the public and MLAs with such 'speculative' reports. Kumaraswamy asserted that within 24 hours of taking the oath, he would prove the majority on the floor of the House. "Mostly on Wednesday there will be an oath-taking ceremony after that on Thursday we will complete the process of Speaker's election and trust vote," he said.

Further, Kumaraswamy dismissed reports about his party working out a power-sharing formula of heading the government for 30 months each, with its coalition partner the Congress. "No such talks have taken place," he told reporters, as per PTI.

There were reports in a section of the media about both parties heading the government for 30 months each on rotation, similar to the 20:20 months power-sharing agreement in 2006 with the BJP. Kumaraswamy had headed the BJP-JD(S) coalition government for 20 months from January 2006, under a power-sharing agreement of leading the coalition for 20 months each. The JD(S) had then reneged on its commitment to share the power for the remaining 20 months with the BJP and refused to hand over the mantle to BS Yeddyurappa, causing the collapse of the government. In the following elections in 2008, BJP had stormed to power on its own with Yeddyurappa as CM of the first-ever saffron party government in the South.

Yeddyurappa quits; Kumaraswamy to be sworn-in as Karnataka CM 

The three-day-old BJP government in Karnataka had collapsed on Saturday, minutes before the scheduled trust vote, with CM Yeddyurappa resigning with defeat staring him in the face. It was his shortest stint in power. Yeddyurappa became the CM for the first time for seven days in 2007. He became the CM for the second time when the BJP formed its first government in Karnataka in 2008. Yeddyurappa was at the helm of the state for over three years before he was made to quit following indictment by the Lokayukta in an alleged mining scam.

Hours later, Kumaraswamy, the chief ministerial candidate of the newly formed JD(S)-Congress-BSP alliance, met Governor Vajubhai Vala and had said that he had been invited to form the government. However, Kumaraswamy later in the evening had said that the swearing-in would be held on May 23 as May 21 happens to be the death anniversary of former PM Rajiv Gandhi and therefore it would not be appropriate to hold the ceremony on that date. Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide bombing in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, in 1991.

The 58-year-old leader, son of JD(S) supremo and former PM HD Deve Gowda, had added that the Governor had given him 15 days to prove his majority, but had asserted "we don't need 15 days". The newly-formed alliance has claimed support of 117 MLAs in the 224-member House with an effective strength of 221.

The BJP emerged as the single-largest party (104 seats) in Karnataka when results were declared on May 15, but fell short of a majority. The Congress, which finished second with 78 seats, moved swiftly and stitched an alliance with 38-member JD(S)+ and backed its leader Kumaraswamy for chief ministership.

(With PTI inputs)

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