JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy took oath as Karnataka chief minister at a grand ceremony attended by a galaxy of top politicians 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.
Calling himself a “child of circumstances,” the third son of JD(S) supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda said he decided to join hands with the Congress on the advice of several political leaders in the “national interest.”
Kumaraswamy, 58, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Vajubhai Vala. 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.
The ceremony was attended by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, NCP’s Sharad Pawar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her arch rival CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. 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.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who recently walked out of the NDA, his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s son Tejashwi Yadav, former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren of JMM, DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s MP daughter Kanimozhi, and RLD leader Ajit Singh were among those present. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had flown to Bengaluru on Tuesday to congratulate Kumaraswamy.
Chandrababu Naidu and Mamata Banerjee called upon all regional parties to come together on a common platform.
The BJP boycotted the oath-taking ceremony and observed a “black day” across the state. It slammed the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka as an “opportunistic alliance”.