Kumaraswamy invited to form government in Karnataka

Bengaluru, (IANS) Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R Vala on Saturday invited Janata-Dal-Secular’s legislative party leader H.D. Kumaraswamy to form the next government in the state, following the resignation of BJP’s B.S. Yeddyurappa ahead of his trust vote.

“The Governor has invited me to form the next government as the leader of the JD-S legislative party with the support of the Congress, which is our alliance partner,” Kumaraswamy told reporters here after meeting Vala at Raj Bhavan and staked claim to power after the three-day BJP government fell.

The 58-year-old JD-S leader also said the Governor had given him 15 days to prove majority in the 224-member legislative assembly, whose strength is currently 222.

“I have decide to form the JD-S-Congress alliance government on May 21 by taking oath at 12 noon in the Kanteerva stadium,” added Kumaraswamy.

The Governor’s invitation came hours after Yeddyurappa resigned before the trust vote, as his party with 104 seats fell short of a simple majority in the hung assembly.

The JD-S won 37 seats in the May 12 election, the Congress 78 while the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party and an Independent won one each.

Election to Raja Rajeshwari Nagar (RR Nagar) in Bengaluru southwest was postponed to May 28 due to electoral malpractice and in Jayanagar in Bengaluru south to June 11 after it was countermanded following the death of BJP contestant B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4.

As Kumaraswamy won from Ramanagaram and Channapatna assembly segments, the JD-S strength in the assembly is effectively 36. It also has the support of the BSP as its pre-poll ally and claimed to have the support of the KPJP and the Independent.

The JD-S leader is likely to retain Ramanagaram from where he won for the third consecutive time and give up Channapatna, which will lead to a bye-election soon.

The JD-S-Congress alliance has 117 members in the hung House with the support of three others, thus totalling half a dozen over the required halfway mark.

This is the second time Kumaraswamy, the third son of JD-S supremo and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda will be the Chief Minister, and 12 years after the JD-S formed a coalition government with the BJP on February 4, 2006 and he occupied the office for 20 months till October 9, 2007.

Terming the turn of events on a dramatic day of developments as a victory of democracy, Kumaraswamy said the JD-S and the Congress leaders would discuss the modalities of forming their coalition government on Sunday.

Thanking Congress President Rahul Gandhi, his mother Sonia Gandhi and the party’s other leaders at the central and state level, Kumaraswamy said he had invited them and BSP supreme Mayawati to his oath-taking ceremony on Monday.

“I have also invited Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to attend the swearing-in ceremony of our coalition government,” he added.

Medaram Jathara

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