New Delhi, May 21: Karnataka chief minister-designate H D Kumaraswamy on Monday met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at their residence in the national capital. After the meeting, Kumaraswamy informed reporters that both leaders have agreed to attend the oath-taking ceremony on May 23. He further said that Rahul Gandhi has given permission to Karnataka General Secretary KC Venugopal to discuss all those matters and finalise everything. He further said that local leaders and he will sit together tomorrow to finalise things.
HD Kumaraswamy is likely to take oath alone, as per the sources. And rest of his cabinet will take oath after the trust vote. Earlier in the day, he also met BSP chief Mayawati in the national capital following which there were rumours that a BSP MLA is expected to be part of the state cabinet. He also invited CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury for the swearing-in ceremony.
Congress, which won 78 seats in Karnataka Assembly elections, is likely to get 20 berths in the 33-member Karnataka cabinet. The JD(S), which has 37 MLAs after H D Kumaraswamy vacated his Ramanagara seat, will get the rest of the seats. Congress has reportedly decided to give the deputy CM post to G Parameshwara, who is from the Dalit community. However, there is a demand from Lingayats that a Deputy CM’s post should be given to a person from the community. Congress will try to fulfill the demand to erase the anti-Lingayat tag it had earned post-Siddaramaiah government’s efforts to give it a minority religion status.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader B S Yeddyurappa had stepped down as the chief minister without facing the floor test in the state assembly as the BJP fell short of numbers, following which Kumaraswamy met Governor Vajubhai Vala, and said he had been invited to form the government.
Karnataka assembly polls threw up a hung assembly, with the BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats. The JD-S (36) and Congress (78) alliance has 117 members in the House. With the support of three others, Kumaraswamy has 6 more than the required 111 halfway mark, excluding the Speaker to prove a majority in the House. The Karnataka Assembly has a total strength of 224. Elections to 2 seats were deferred and voting took place for 222 seats. The total number in the House will go down from 222 to 221 as H.D Kumaraswamy, who contested from two seats and won from both, will have to vacate one seat.