As the political drama over government formation in Karnataka came to an end on Saturday, JD(S) state chief H D Kumaraswamy is now preparing to take oath as the chief minister on May 23. The swearing-in ceremony will be held in Bengaluru’s sprawling Kanteevera stadium on Wednesday.
However, the event is likely to serve more than one purpose. The occasion will serve as a show of unity for opposition leaders thereby hinting that an alliance is possible at the regional as well as the national level to fight the BJP.
Kumaraswamy said that he will personally invite Congress president Rahul Gandhi as well as several other senior regional leaders.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, who contested Karnataka polls in alliance with the JD(S) is likely to attend the event. Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav will also be invited. Chief Ministers of two neighbouring states, Andhra Paradesh’s Chandrababu Naidu and Telangana’s k Chandrashekhar Rao, will also be present at the event.
TRS party sources said Kumaraswamy telephoned Rao and invited him for the oath-taking ceremony.
West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will also attend the event. Banerjee was the one who announced Kumaraswamy’s plan to hold oath-taking ceremony on Monday.
I just spoke with Kumaraswamy Ji and congratulated him. He invited me for the oath taking ceremony on Monday @hd_kumaraswamy
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 19, 2018
However, the date was later shifted to May 23 as May 21 happens to be the death anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, and Kumaraswamy said that he felt it would not be appropriate to hold the ceremony on that date.
After BJP’s B S Yeddyurappa stepped down as Karnataka’s Chief Minister on Saturday, Governor Vajubhai Vala invited Kumaraswamy, the leader of Congress-JD(S) joint legislature party, to form the government.
Yeddyurappa resigned without facing the floor test in the assembly as the BJP fell short of numbers.
In the assembly election results, the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats. However, it fell short of 8 seats to reach the majority mark of 112.
Congress which came second with 78 seats wasted no time and formed an alliance with the JD(S), a distant third with 38 seats.
The post-election alliance claimed support of 117 members.