Bengaluru: H.D. Kumaraswamy of Janata Dal (Secular) was sworn-in as the 24th chief minister of Karnataka on Wednesday, marking the beginning of the JD(S)-Congress alliance in the state.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President G. Parameshwara took oath as the state’s Deputy Chief Minister. Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath to Kumaraswamy and Parameshwara at a gala ceremony held outside the Vidhana Soudha, the state assembly.
The ceremony was attended by a battery of political dignitaries, including United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and son of former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, Tejaswi Yadav, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N. Chandrababu Naidu.
Fifty-eight-year-old Kumaraswamy was invited to form the government in Karnataka after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led B S Yeddyurappa stepped down within three days of taking over as the state chief minister, following a fractured mandate of Karnataka assembly polls.
The BJP emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, only eight seats short of the simple majority mark of 112.
On the other hand, the Congress party with 78 seats and JD(S) with 37 seats, along with two independent candidates, stitched up a post-poll alliance with a total of 117 MLAs. However, the Governor invited BJP’s Yeddyurappa to form a government on May 16, and gave him 15 days to prove majority, amid huge uproar by the opposition.
On May 18, the Supreme Court, on the plea of the Congress and JD(S), shifted the floor test to May 19. Unable to garner the required number by the deadline, Yeddyurappa stepped down from the post of chief minister before the floor test could be conducted.
Kumaraswamy, the son of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, had earlier served as the chief minister of the state from February 2006 to October 2007 ‘Anti-People’s Mandate Day’ for the BJP
Unhappy with the sequence of events, the BJP is observing ‘Anti-People’s Mandate Day’ in Karnataka in protest against the formation of the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition government in the state. BJP president for Karnataka and former Chief Minister, B. S. Yeddyurappa, led the demonstrations in Bengaluru.
Speaking to reporters, Yeddyurappa criticised the JD(S)-Congress alliance and said that “hunger, greed, and power is the basis of JD(S)-Congress alliance, such alliance will not even last for three months.” In a statement on Tuesday, the BJP termed the alliance between the Congress and the JD(S) as an ‘unholy’ one, alleging that they “hijacked the people’s mandate”.