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Congress-JD(S) govt in Karnataka: Kumaraswamy to take oath as CM today; ceremony to be attended by top Oppn leaders

Congress leader G Parameshwara will take oath as Karnataka deputy chief minister, while the floor test will be conducted on May 24.

Edited by: India TV Politics Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: May 22, 2018 23:59 IST ]
Kumaraswamy to take oath as CM on Wednesday; Congress’ G

Kumaraswamy to take oath as CM on Wednesday; Congress’ G Parameshwara to be deputy CM  

JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy will take oath as the new chief minister of Karnataka on Wednesday at 4:30 pm on the steps of the Vidhan Soudha, the state secretariat.

Congress leader G Parameshwara will take oath as Karnataka deputy chief minister, while the floor test will be conducted on May 24.  

Congress General Secretary and Karnataka In-charge KC Venugopal, in a press conference, announced that Congress’ Ramesh Kumar will be the Speaker of the House, while the deputy Speaker will be from the JD(S). 

He further added that out of the 34 cabinet ministers post, 22 ministers will be from Congress, while the remaining 12, including CM-designate Kumaraswamy will be from the coalition partner JD(S).

"Rest of the ministry and portfolio allocation will be decided after the floor test," he added.

Governor Vajubhai Vala will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Kumaraswamy, a government release said. 

The announcement came after the JD(S) and the Congress met in Bengaluru on Tuesday to discuss the distribution of portfolios in the Karnataka government. Kumaraswamy, who will take oath on Wednesday, said that portfolios would be decided day after tomorrow.

As a Dalit leader, Parameshwara was a front runner for the deputy chief minister's post, though reports said there was growing demand from party leaders in north Karnataka that the position be given to a Lingayat from the region.

DK Shivakumar, a strong Vokkaliga leader and considered an arch rival of the Gowda family, was also a prime contender for the deputy CM post.

Speaking to PTI on Tuesday, Parameshwara had said "difficult times were ahead" for the Congress-JD(S) coalition but the alliance had been necessary to prevent the BJP from coming to power in Karnataka.

Kumaraswamy was invited by Governor Vajubhai Vala to take the reins of power after the three-day BJP government collapsed last Saturday with B S Yeddyurappa, unable to muster the required number for a majority, stepping down as the chief minister without facing the floor test in the state assembly. 

The May 12 Karnataka assembly polls threw up a hung verdict with BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats. The Congress was next with 78 and the JD(S) followed with 37. The BSP has one MLA and two seats went to Independents.

A huge stage has been erected in front of the majestic stone building for the ceremony where a host of national and regional leaders are expected to be present to send a message across to the BJP over the shape of things to come in 2019. 

Government officials and sources in the JD(S) said Congress president Rahul Gandhi, his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Chandrababu Naidu, Arvind Kejriwal and Pinarayi Vijayan, her counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Kerala, are among those likely to be present. 

So would be CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, one of the most vocal votaries of an anti-BJP alliance, Tejashwi Yadav, the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah. 

BSP chief Mayawati and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav, who have formed an alliance in Uttar Pradesh would also attend the ceremony. 

DMK leader M K Stalin, who was also expected to be present in order to show the burgeoning opposition consolidation against the BJP, has cancelled his Bengaluru visit and would instead head for Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu where nine people were killed in police firing today. 

Running coalition govt a ‘big challenge’, says Kumaraswamy ahead of swearing-in as CM

A day before swearing-in, CM-designate Kumaraswamy on Tuesday acknowledged that running the Congress-JD(S) coalition government over the next five years will be a "big challenge" for him. 

"This is a big challenge in my life. I'm not expecting that I will be able to fulfil my responsibilities as chief minister easily," Kumaraswamy, who will be sworn in as chief minister tomorrow, said.

Kumaraswamy, who was in Sringeri, the place where Adi Shankaracharya, exponent of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy, established his first matha, said he believed that things would go smoothly with the grace of Goddess Shardambe and the Jagadguru. 

"People also have doubts, not only me, people in the state also have doubt whether this government will function smoothly. But I have belief that with the grace of Sharadambe and Sringeri Jagadguru (Shankaracharya) everything will go smoothly," he told reporters.

SC refuses urgent hearing on plea against Karnataka Governor's decision

Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court refused to accord an urgent hearing to a plea filed by Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) challenging Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision to invite the Congress-JD (S) combine to form government in Karnataka.

The matter was mentioned before a bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha for urgent listing but the court refused the request and said the plea would be heard in the due course. 

"You have mentioned it, but we have not accepted it. It will come up in due course," the bench told the counsel representing the outfit. 

The matter was initially mentioned before the bench in the morning session by ABHM's counsel but another lawyer opposed it claiming it was a "proxy" petition and the petitioner was not the original outfit. 

"You first decide who is the original one (outfit)," the bench told both the lawyers.

 
The matter was again mentioned at 2 PM when the counsel for the petitioner said they have filed a writ petition and the other lawyer cannot stop him from mentioning it for urgent listing. 

"How can a writ petition be filed," the bench asked. 

Responding to the query, the petitioner's counsel said the ABHM was a political outfit and it was challenging the "illegal act" of the Karnataka Governor. 

"This political part does not have any representation there," the bench observed. 

The counsel referred to the petition filed earlier in the apex court by the Congress-JD (S) combine challenging the Governor's decision to invite BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa to form government in the state, and said the top court had entertained the plea and also passed orders. 

The ABHM, in its plea, has alleged that the post-poll alliance of Congress-JD (S) was a "fraud" on the electorate.

Yeddyurappa alleges 'grave irregularities' in Karnataka elections, writes to EC

BS Yeddyurappa on Monday alleged grave irregularities in the Karnataka Assembly Elections. He also alleged that concerns officials failed to act despite complaints from his party.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner, Yeddyurappa wrote, "this is not the first time that irregularities in the conduct of elections were brought to the notice of the Election Commission (EC) and officials holding elections at ground level. Prior to polling, we brought many such irregularities to notice of concerned officials, but in vain."

Yeddyurappa's statement comes after eight boxes used for carrying Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines were found at a temporary shed in Managuli village near Vijaypura district.

"I am of firm belief that Election Commission has taken a serious note of VVPAT machines found abandoned in a shed near Managuli village in Vijayapur district. It indicates grave irregularities in conduct of assembly polls in Karnataka," the BJP leader added.

Yeddyurappa also alleged that in many assembly segments of Bidar and Kalaburagi districts police officials themselves helped rival candidates to distribute money and liquor among the voters.

"This incident has exposed the hollowness of the claim of the election commission that assembly elections in Karnataka were held in a free and free manner," Yeddyurappa said.

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