JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy was on Wednesday sworn-in as Karnataka chief minister at a grand ceremony attended by a galaxy of top leaders and regional satraps in a rare public show of unity perceived as a possible harbinger of a broad-based anti-BJP alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year.
Kumaraswamy, the third son of JD(S) supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Vajubhai Vala on a huge dais outside the majestic Vidhana Soudha, the seat of power in Karnataka.
Attired in a 'dhoti' and white shirt, 58-year Kumaraswamy took the oath in the name of God and "Kannada Nadu", as hundreds of his supporters cheered loudly. G Parameshwara, the state Congress chief and the party's Dalit face, was sworn in as Kumaraswamy's deputy.
Kumaraswamy will expand his council of ministers after the trust vote on Friday which he is expected to win without any hiccups.
They smiled broadly, shook hands warmly, and even embraced each other at the bonhomie-filled event to herald the advent of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state amid doubts about its longevity.
The Congress, which has 78 MLAs, is likely to get 20 ministerial berths and the JD(S) with 37 lawmakers 12.
Disparate in ideology but united in the intent of dislodging the BJP-led NDA from power in New Delhi, a bevy of leaders, from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to NCP's Sharad Pawar, from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to her arch rival CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, attended the event.
Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy wave at the crowd gathered outside Vidhana Soudha for swearing-in ceremony.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati, who have sewn up an alliance in Uttar Pradesh, were among the first to arrive on stage.
The meeting and greeting ended with the leaders posing for a group photograph, clasping each other's hands and raising them in a show of solidarity.