Kumaraswamy to take oath as Karnataka CM on May 23

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

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

“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, also state JD(S) chief, said.

Talking to reporters after meeting Vala, he 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.

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.

However, Kumaraswamy later in the evening said the swearing-in would be held on May 23 as May 21 happens to be the death anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, and therefore it would not be appropriate to hold the ceremony on that date.

Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide bombing in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, in 1991.

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 B S 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 JD(S) 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.