HD Kumaraswamy took oath as the next Chief Minister of Karnataka today in a ceremony attended by a clutch of national leaders opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition government headed by Kumaraswamy has named G Parameshwara as the deputy chief minister. The position of assembly speaker has gone to Congress’ Ramesh Kumar.
The new government will comprise 22 ministers from the Congress and 12 from the JD(S). With 78 MLAs, the Congress is numerically stronger than the JD(S), which won 37 seats in the recently-concluded assembly elections, but the arrangement of the coalition has seen JD(S) nominee HD Kumaraswamy take the chief minister’s post.
The government will have to prove its majority on the floor of the house on Friday in an assembly where the BJP has 104 lawmakers.
The oath-taking ceremony has also been an opportunity to cement opposition unity with a host of regional leaders attending the event. Apart from top Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Ministers of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Delhi were in attendance. Other prominent opposition leaders present included:
- Mamata Banerjee, leader of Trinamool Congress and Chief Minister of West Bengal.
- Chandrababu Naidu, TDP Leader and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
- Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI(M) leader and Chief Minister of Kerala
- Arvind Kejriwal, AAP Leader and Chief Minister of Delhi
- Mayawati, Leader of Bahujan Samaj Party
- Akhilesh Yadav, Leader of Samajwadi Party
- Ajit SIngh, Leader of Rashtriya Lok Dal
- Tejashwi Yadav, Leader of Rashtriya Janata Dal
- Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India (Marxist) Leader
- Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister
Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray was also invited to the swearing in ceremony but ‘politely declined’ citing the upcoming Palghar bypolls in Maharashtra, news agency PTI reported. The Shiv Sena is in a coalition government with the BJP in Maharashtra, but has been bitterly critical of the Modi government at the Centre.