Karnataka Chief Minister-designate HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday said the Janata Dal (Secular)’s decision to provide a loan waiver to farmers and several other promises remain unchanged despite its post-poll alliance with the Congress.
Kumaraswamy will be sworn in as the chief minister later on Wednesday. Congress leader G Parameshwara will be the deputy chief minister. The Assembly elections in the state threw up a hung verdict. The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), along with the Bahujan Samaj Party and two independents, have the support of 117 MLAs, while the Bharatiya Janata Party has the support of 104 legislators.
BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the chief minister last Thursday but resigned two days later as his party, despite being the largest, did not have the numbers to prove its majority. Kumaraswamy is expected to face the floor test on Thursday or Friday.
“All the promises made in the manifesto will be implemented,” Kumaraswamy told reporters. “Safeguarding the interest of the farming community is our top priority. All decisions will be taken by the coalition and not just me.”
The chief minister designate said: “I am not a leader of one caste or religion, I will be serving all the people of all castes and religion in Karnataka.”
Several Opposition leaders are expected to attend Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony. This has gained significance in view of the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Communist Party of India (Marxist) Secretary-General Sitaram Yechury, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejaswi Yadav, and Kamal Haasan are expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
Chief ministers such as Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh’s Chandrababu Naidu, West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee and Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan are also expected to be there.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda had invited Uddhav Thackeray as well. “All of us are busy with the Palghar Lok Sabha bye-election, so we cannot go but our best wishes are with him,” Raut told ANI.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam working president MK Stalin, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik are among some of the Opposition leaders who will not be attending, News18 reported. Stalin and Rao are expected to instead visit Thoothukudi, where at least 11 people were killed in police firing during protests.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party State General Secretary Shobha Karandlaje led an “anti-people’s mandate” protest in Bengaluru on Wednesday. On Twitter, Karandlaje accused Kumaraswamy of being a liar using the hashtag “HDKNotmyCM”.
The BJP’s National General Secretary Muralidhar Rao said the Janata Dal (Secular) would be subjected to all kinds of blackmail politics. “Instead of popular government, now we will be having a government driven and controlled by rejected mafias,” Rao tweeted.
Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa claimed that “hunger, greed and power” are the basis of the JD(S)-Congress alliance. “Such alliance will not even last 3 months,” he said.