Minutes from now, Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy will be sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka in the presence of prominent leaders from the non-NDA parties. The ceremony, slated to start at 4:20 pm sharp, will be held on the steps of Vidhan Soudha where Governor Vajubhai Vala will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the 58-year-old politician. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury are among others who have already arrived in the state capital. Congress president Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia have also arrived in the city.
However, what has raised the eyebrows is the fact the Telangana and Odisha CMs Chandrashekhar Rao and Naveen Patnaik, respectively, have given a miss to the event which is being seen as an opportunity to show the unity among opposition parties who have been calling for a united front against the BJP in the next year’s general election.
Other leaders who are attending the mega event include UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and many senior leaders of the grand old party including former CM Siddaramaiah. Former Uttar Pradesh CMs Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati have also joined the opposition leaders at the ceremony.
This will be the second time when Kumaraswamy will sit at the helm of state affairs. He had previously served as Karnataka CM between February 2006 and October 2007 when JD(S) and BJP had joined ranks to form a government.
According to Danish Ali of JD(S), RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, RJD leader Ajit Singh, Dushyant Chautala of ILND, have also been invited.
Kumaraswamy and his deputy G Parameshwara (Karnata Congress president) will take oath. The Cabinet will be expanded after Kumaraswamy proves the majority on the floor of the House. He will seek floor test only after the election of the Speaker which is expected to take place on Thursday. Kumaraswamy is all set to sail through the trust vote as the JD(S)-Congress combine have 116 MLAs in the 224-member House. However, elections were held across 222 seats. The alliance needs the support of 112 MLAs.