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KCR to skip Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in, Congress says he is scared of BJP

The Telangana unit of the Congress alleged that KCR was not attending the swearing-in ceremony because he did not want to antagonise the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Karnataka Elections 2018 Updated: May 22, 2018 23:50 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Karnataka,Karnataka govt formation,Telangana Rashtra Samithi
JD(S) leader and Karnataka chief minister-designate H D Kumaraswamy visits Manjunatha Swamy temple ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, at Kshetra Dharmasthala in Dharmasthala, Karnataka.(PTI Photo)

Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will not attend the swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy as Karnataka’s new chief minister in Bengaluru on Wednesday because the JD(S) has partnered with the Congress.

Though KCR initially wanted to attend the ceremony, he decided against it as an afterthought following the alliance between the JD (S) and the Congress, a TRS leader said on condition of anonymity.

“Though Kumaraswamy is the new chief minister of Karnataka, the majority partner in the government is the Congress, which is the main rival for the TRS in Telangana. How can we share dais with our rivals?” the TRS leader said.

But since KCR is planning to rope JD (S) into his proposed federal front plan and had held talks with Deve Gowda last month, he has to maintain good relations with him. “Hence, he has decided to go to Bengaluru a day in advance to greet Kumaraswamy,” the TRS leader said.

So KCR flew to Bengaluru Tuesday afternoon on a special flight to meet Kumaraswamy and greet him personally. The chief minister’s office though, maintains that KCR’s prior engagements won’t allow him to attend Wednesday’s function in Bengaluru.

“In view of important engagements on Wednesday, the chief minster will return to Hyderabad on Tuesday night itself,” an official release from Telangana chief minister’s office said.

The Telangana unit of the Congress, however, alleged that KCR was not attending the swearing-in ceremony because he did not want to antagonise the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“KCR supported JD (S) thinking that it would have coalition with the BJP. But JD (S) joined hands with the Congress, which he does not like,” senior Congress leader and former minister Marri Shashidhar Reddy said.

He alleged that KCR’s third front plan was aimed at weakening the Congress so that it would benefit the BJP. “There are at least three investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigations pending against KCR. If he goes against the wishes of the BJP, the Centre would start hounding him with CBI cases,” Reddy said.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu will be leaving for Bengaluru at 9 am on Wednesday to attend Kumaraswamy’s oath-taking ceremony. JD (S) chief H D Deve Gowda had called up both KCR and Naidu personally to invite them for his son’s swearing-in ceremony.

First Published: May 22, 2018 18:28 IST