The swearing-in of H D Kumaraswamy as Karnataka chief minister on Wednesday is set to see one-time rivals in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati, and Akhilesh Yadav, sharing a public platform. Though Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party and Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party have recently come closer, particularly after they together managed to win the Lok Sabha byelections in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, their leaders have not been seen together on a public platform.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has got an invitation to attend the oath-taking ceremony in Bengaluru and will attend it, SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary told PTI. JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy had yesterday met BSP chief Mayawati in New Delhi and she will also attend the function, a BSP leader said. The SP leader said though the two leaders held a meeting in the state capital after the March byelections in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, this will be the first time that the two will appear on a dais together.
“This could well be the beginning of new ties between the two parties who have already shown the strength of their unity,” an SP leader said, indicating that they are working with the 2019 Lok Sabha election in mind. After their win against the BJP in in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, the opposition in UP is also fighting the May 28 byelection in Kairana together. The SP and the BSP are backing the Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate in that Lok Sabha constituency.
Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony is being projected as a show of strength by non-BJP parties. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are among the leaders invited to the ceremony. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are expected to share the dais with CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
Kumarawasmy will form the government with the backing of the Congress after the May 12 assembly elections delivered a split verdict in Karnataka. B S Yeddyurappa was sworn in as chief minister after the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the election, but he resigned ahead of the floor test in Karnataka assembly.