Oppn’s Show of Strength: Who Will Grace Kumaraswamy’s Swearing-in?
A JD(S)-Congress coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy will be sworn-in on 23 May at 4.30 PM in Karnataka at a ceremony attended by a galaxy of opposition leaders and chief ministers, a development that could plant a seed for a broad-based anti-BJP platform before the Lok Sabha polls next year.
JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy will take oath as Chief Minister of Karnataka on 23 May at 4.30 pm
Governor Vajubhai Vala will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Kumaraswamy, who will be the second chief minister to take oath in Karnataka within a week, after BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa stepped down without facing the floor test on May 19 in the face of an imminent defeat.
A huge stage has been erected in front of the majestic stone building, Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat.for the ceremony where a host of national and regional leaders are expected to be present to send a message across to the BJP over the shape of things to come in 2019.
Here’s what the guest list looks like:
Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi
After meeting Kumaraswamy in Delhi, Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi confirmed their presence at his oath-taking ceremony.
Other Opposition Party CMs and Leaders
Chief Ministers of non-BJP states and head of regional parties, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and his son KT Rao, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati, DMK’s Stalin and actor-politician Kamal Haasan are also expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
N Chandrababu Naidu
Who is Not Going?
DMK leader M K Stalin, who was also expected to be present in order to show the burgeoning opposition consolidation against the BJP, has cancelled his Bengaluru visit and would instead head for Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, where 11 people were killed in the anti-sterlite protests.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s office informed at the last minute that he would not be able to attend the swearing-in owing to his prior commitments, reported The News Minute. He flew down to Bengaluru to meet Kumaraswamy on Tuesday evening. However, there were speculations that Rao was not happy with the JD(S)-Congress alliance.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik allegedly decided to skip the event to not be seen as a leader against the Modi government, reported The Indian Express.
Talking to ANI, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “Shiv Sena had received invitation too for the swearing-in ceremony, HD Deve Gowda ji invited Uddhav ji hoping someone from us would come but all of us are busy for Palghar Lok Sabha by-election. So we can't go but our best wishes are with him.”
Parameshwara to be the Dy-CM, Ramesh Kumar to be Speaker
Karnataka Congress president G Parameshwara will be sworn-in as the deputy chief minister, AICC general secretary in-charge of the state K C Venugopal said.
Congress' Ramesh Kumar, a former minister, will be the next Assembly speaker, while the deputy speaker's post will go to the JD(S), Venugopal told PTI.
The Congress would have 22 ministers and JD(S) 12, he said, adding that they would be sworn-in after the floor test slated for Friday.
Kumaraswamy was invited by Governor Vajubhai Vala to take the reins of power after the three-day BJP government collapsed last Saturday with B S Yeddyurappa, unable to muster the required number for a majority, stepping down as the chief minister without facing the floor test in the state assembly.
The 12 May Karnataka assembly polls threw up a hung verdict with BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats. The Congress was next with 78 and the JD(S) followed with 37. The BSP has one MLA and two seats went to Independents.