Karnataka CM-designate and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and her mother Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday evening days ahead of his swearing-in. Insiders say both the parties are not on the same page over deciding a name for the Deputy CM chair. However, both Congress and JD(S) are ready to bury their past differences to form a strong government in the state.
According to sources, there is a proposal to have two deputy chief ministers to strike a balance between the two parties. Congress's G Parameshwara is frontrunner for the deputy chief minister's post. The JD(S) leader has already indicated that there won't be a rotational arrangement with Congress for the post of the chief minister.
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"I wanted to show my respect and regards to Gandhi family. That's why I came here. I requested their presence in oath taking ceremony. Both of them agreed to attend," Kumaraswamy told reporters after the meeting which took place at Rahul Gandhi's residence.
"Rahulji cleared the modalities to be done, he has given permission to Karnataka General Secy KC Venugopal to discuss all issues and finalise everything. Local leaders and he'll sit together tomorrow to finalise things," Kumaraswamy said responding to a question about deputy CM.
Kumaraswamy is slated to take oath as Karnataka CM on Wednesday, May 23. He has invited all top Opposition leaders for his oath taking ceremony in Bengaluru in an apparent show of strength against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka Assembly elections but fell short of securing a clear majority.
After landing in the national capital, the JD(S) leader also met Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati.
Kumaraswamy is likely to face the floor test in Karnataka Assembly within 24 hours of him taking oath. Both Congress and JD(S) MLAs have been confined to hotels in Bengaluru till the floor test. A small group of MLAs will be sworn in as ministers along with Kumaraswamy on Wednesday, the sources said.
Many regional party leaders including Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal are likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
Kumaraswamy was invited to form the government after B S Yeddyurappa of the BJP on May 19 stepped down as the chief minister without facing the floor test in the state assembly as the BJP fell short of numbers.
The May 12 Karnataka Assembly poll threw up a hung assembly, with the 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.
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(With inputs from agencies)