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Kumaraswamy defers swearing-in ceremony, to take oath as Karnataka CM on May 23

A JDS leader said the swearing-in date has been shifted to May 23 as May 21 happens to be the date on which former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide bombing at Sriperumbudur near Chennai in 1991.

Karnataka Elections 2018 Updated: May 20, 2018 00:04 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Bengaluru
HD Kumaraswamy,Karnataka government,Kumaraswamy swearing in
Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy speaks to the media outside the legislative house in Bengaluru on May 19.(REUTERS)

With the fall of BJP’s three-day-old government in Karnataka, HD Kumaraswamy heading the Congress-JDS coalition is set to become the chief minister for a second time on May 23.

Governor Vajubhai Vala on Saturday invited Kumaraswamy, who is the leader of Congress-JD(S) joint legislature party, to form the government.

After meeting the governor, Kumaraswamy had said the swearing-in ceremony would take place tentatively between 12 and 1.50 pm at Kanteerava stadium on May 21.

But later on Saturday night, he said the swearing in ceremony would take place on May 23, but did not cite any reasons.

A JDS leader said the swearing-in date has been shifted to May 23 as May 21 happens to be the date on which former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide bombing at Sriperumbudur near Chennai in 1991.

Speaking to reporters after meeting the governor, Kumaraswamy said the governor has directed him to prove the majority on the floor of the House in 15 days but he would do it much before.

“On the invitation of the Governor I have met him on the basis of the request we had submitted on May 15 for the formation of Congress-JD(S) coalition government....he has invited us to form the government,” Kumaraswamy, who is also state JD(S) chief, said.

After a meeting with Congress leaders, Kumaraswamy said they also discussed about moving the confidence of motion on May 24.

He said he would meet Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on May 21 to extend his gratitude to them. “I will also discuss how many Congress and JD(S) MLAs will become ministers,” said Kumaraswamy.

He said a coordination committee would be formed to prepare a common minimum programme to implement the promises made by the two coalition partners.

Kumaraswamy said there were no other discussions with the coalition partners other than winning the confidence vote.

His meeting with the governor came hours after BS Yeddyurappa stepped down as chief minister without facing the floor test in the assembly as the BJP fell short of numbers.

The post election stitched alliance of JDS and Congress, which claims the support of 117 members, has already staked its claim to form the government and said it would be headed by Kumaraswamy.

The third son of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda had earlier headed the BJP-JD(S) coalition government for twenty months from January 2006.

Kumaraswamy said West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, BSP chief Mayawati, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana chief minister Chandrashekar Rao and several other regional leaders would be invited for the swearing-in ceremony.

Asked by when he will prove majority, Kumaraswamy said “As soon as possible we will call the assembly session to prove majority.... though Governor has given 15 days, we will not require that much time.”

Expressing apprehension that the BJP would again indulge in “operation Kamala (poaching on MLAs)”, he said “I’m aware of it that they will create problem. JD(S) and Congress leaders will take all precautionary measures for it.”

He also ruled out any kind of differences among the party cadres on alliance with the Congress.

First Published: May 19, 2018 23:14 IST