Kumaraswamy swearing in ceremony: demonstration of anti-BJP unity

Bangalore: The Karnataka victory has bolstered national and regional parties who have been talking about a broad-based front to take on the BJP. With the swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy, the opposition parties showed their extraordinary unity and political strength. Finally Janata Dal(S)-Congress coalition formed the government in Karnataka on Wednesday after much hustle and bustle. During the swearing-in ceremony, an unprecedented unity of opposition was witnessed.

All prominent opposition leaders including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, TMC president and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, former JDU president and MP Sharad Yadav, BSP president Mayawati, Samajwadi party president Akhilesh Yadav, CPM secretary-general Sitaram Yechury, NCP president Sharad Pawar, RLD President Chaudhry Ajit Singh, RJD leader and Bihar former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav were present on the occasion.

Following swearing-in ceremony, all the opposition leaders on stage held hands together to show their strength. In incredible gestures of friendship, Mayawati and Sonia Gandhi were seen bumping foreheads and then chatting, holding hands throughout.

Besides, the once-rivals Uttar Pradesh politicians Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav greeted each other warmly, waved to the crowds and sat next to each other for the first time. Similarly, Bitter rivals in Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool and Left leader Sitaram Yechury also exchanged greetings and shared a common stage. Mayawati and Mamata Banerjee embraced and posed for the panoramic photo-op of all opposition leaders. However TRS chief and Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik were missing on the occasion.

In short, the swearing-in ceremony of H.D. Kumaraswamy provided an opportunity for regional parties to explore the possibility of forging a broader alliance. Leaders of regional parties — sinking their differences at least for the moment — said the alliance in Karnataka should set the trend for such broader alliances ahead of the 2019 polls. The display of unity will also have an effect on Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh assembly elections.