Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy and Congress Karnataka state President G Parameshwara will take oath as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka respectively on Wednesday.
This was after both the parties finalised a deal on the 34-member cabinet which will comprise 12 JD(S) ministers and 22 from the Congress. The JD(S) also agreed to Congress leader KR Ramesh as Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly.
The berths will be decided following the floor test, Congress leaders said. The swearing-in ceremony is also being seen as an index of opposition unity, with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BSP chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav along with Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former party president Sonia Gandhi in attendance.
Two key absentees are Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR).
KCR’s office cited “important engagements” for his inability to attend the function, but according to political grapevine, he may not want to share a common platform with leaders from the Congress, which is a rival party in Telangana.
JD(S) supremo HD Devegowda on Tuesday denied reports of differences between the coalition partners on Congress MLAs like D K Shivakumar and M B Patil for ministerial posts.
“We are not interfering in any way with the Congress’s choices. It is left to the Congress to decide who it wants in the ministry,” Devegowda said.
The 58-year-old soon to be CM, HD Kumaraswamy, admitted that running the coalition government was a “big challenge”.
“I’m not expecting that I will be able to fulfill my responsibilities as chief minister easily,” he said.
“People also have doubts, not only me, people in the state also have doubt whether this government will function smoothly. But I have the belief that with the grace of Sharadambe and Sringeri jagadguru (Shankaracharya) everything will go smoothly,” he said as quoted in Times Now.
Kumaraswamy added that his would be a stable government and it would introduce welfare programs but not introduce unnecessary taxes. He also dismissed reports that there were differences between the Congress and JD(S) over Cabinet formation.