Bengaluru: After days of high voltage drama in Karnataka and BJP witnessing the fall of its three-day-old government yesterday and JD(S) State President H.D. Kumaraswamy picking up his invite to be the next Chief Minister from Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, it was a hectic day of activity for Kumaraswamy this morning.
He is scheduled to take oath at Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on May 23. Sources in Bengaluru told Star of Mysore that he will take oath between 12 noon and 1.50 pm on that day.
Kumaraswamy’s day began today with a meeting with Chief Secretary K. Ratna Prabha and Director General and Inspector General of Police Neelamani N. Raju at his J.P. Nagar residence. He directed them to make proper arrangements as over three lakh people are expected to witness the grand event. Later, Kumaraswamy drove to Hotel Le Meridian near the Race Course and addressed a meeting of the newly-elected MLAs.
Speaking to reporters, Kumaraswamy said that he will leave to New Delhi tomorrow to meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi to invite them for the swearing-in ceremony. “Tomorrow morning, I am going to Delhi and I want to meet Sonia Gandhi and Rahul. Just 24 hours after the oath, I will prove the majority,” Kumaraswamy said. He added that there will be no rotational Chief Ministership arrangement with Congress.
After addressing the party workers, Kumaraswamy will leave for Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu along with his bother H.D. Revanna. Both the brothers are likely to visit a temple in Kerala and return to Bengaluru tonight.
Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in is likely to serve as a show of opposition for non-BJP leaders across the country. The Congress and JD(S) alliance aims to project the win as massive victory with Opposition leaders like Mamata Banerjee (Trinamool Congress), Mayawati (Bahujan Samaj Party), Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), N. Chandrababu Naidu (Telugu Desam), K. Chandrashekar Rao (Telangana Rashtriya Samithi) and others expected to attend.
After meeting Sonia and Rahul in New Delhi tomorrow, Kumaraswamy is likely to fly to Lucknow to invite Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati to his swearing-in ceremony.
Coordination Committee: The post-election alliance of the JD(S) and Congress has 117 lawmakers. Kumaraswamy, who faces a delicate balancing act in allocating portfolios in his coalition government, may keep the finance portfolio with himself. People familiar with the matter said Congress leader Dr. G. Parameshwara is likely to become the Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister.
Alliance sources said that a coordination committee would be formed to prepare a common minimum programme to implement the promises made by the two coalition partners.
Parleys between Congress and JD(S) have already started over the composition of the new dispensation. They are to work out the modalities, including formation of a coordination committee. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is coordinating the discussions between the leaders of the JD(S) and the Congress, to hammer out finer details of the alliance, including the number of Ministers from each party.
With the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) having a pre-poll alliance with the JD(S), the lone BSP MLA N. Mahesh (Kollegal) is likely to get a berth. On his brother and former Minister H.D. Revanna being a part of the government, Kumaraswamy said, “Our party will decide on those who will be taken as Ministers and the Congress will draw its list.”
Siddharamaiah to be a part of coordination committee
Sources said that former CM Siddharamaiah may play a key role in the Congress as the party, it is said, wants to leverage his “regional leader” status to its advantage. Siddharamaiah, the 69-year-old leader from the Kuruba community, became the first CM in four decades to complete a full five-year term.