Bengaluru: JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday 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.
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.
On reports about parleys with Congress leaders regarding elections in Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Jayanagar Assembly constituencies in Bengaluru, Kumaraswamy described it as "bogus". "It is bogus news... No such discussions have taken place. Winning Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Jayanagara is a necessity. Till now, no such discussions have happened," he said, as per PTI. While polling was deferred in Rajarajeshwari Nagar over allegations of electoral malpractice, election to the Jayanagar seat was countermanded following the death of the BJP candidate.
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. "Today, the BJP government failed to show their strength in the House. On that basis governor invited me to form the next government," he had told journalists.
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 Agency inputs)