Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy will meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday to thrash out details of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance in Karnataka.
Kumaraswamy on Sunday said that the two parties will discuss a common minimum programme, which will lay the roadmap for the coalition government.
He also trashed the speculation that JD (S) and Congress leaders will take turns to be chief ministers.
Kumaraswamy will serve as the chief minister for the entire length of the government, while the Congress may get two deputy chief ministerial posts. Sources said one of the deputy chief ministers could be a Dalit, probably Karnataka state unit chief G Parameshwara, and the second one may be a Lingayat. This will be done to reach out to the two communities.
Several opposition leaders are scheduled to attend Kumaraswamy’s oath taking ceremony in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Kumaraswamy said his oath taking was postponed from Monday to Wednesday since Monday is the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He said he will prove his majority in the assembly on Thursday.
The Congress is likely to get 20 ministerial berths, while the JD (S) could get 14, including that of the chief minister.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu would be among the chief ministers of opposition parties to attend the swearing-in. According to sources in the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Naidu’s ministers said he should attend the ceremony given his cordial relations with JD(S) president and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.
A TDP leader said attending Kumarswamy’s swearing-in would “send the right signal to the nation”. Naidu has called for opposition unity to fight the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 polls. The Congress top leadership, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar are also slated to take part in the event.
According to information available in public domain, the office of Speaker Sumitra Mahajan accepted the resignations of BJP Lok Sabha members BS Yeddyurappa and B Sreeramulu on Friday. Yeddyurappa and Sreeramulu’s resignations were accepted within hours of submission.
Interestingly, the Speaker’s office is yet to accept the resignations of six YSR Congress members. The six YSR Congress MPs had quit on the last day of the Budget session on April 6. The six had submitted their letters of resignations with the Speaker’s office then.
Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka on Thursday morning. On Friday, the Supreme Court asked Yeddyurappa to prove his majority by 4pm on Saturday. Yeddyurappa and Sreeramulu were sworn in as legislators on Saturday. According to a Lok Sabha official “bulletin” issued on Saturday, Yeddyurappa, MP from Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency, and Sreeramulu, MP from Bellary, quit and their resignations have “been accepted by the Speaker with effect from May 18.”
While Lok Sabha secretariat officials were unwilling to speak on the issue, sources said the resignations were accepted since the two BJP leaders couldn’t have been members of both the Lok Sabha as well as Karnataka assembly at the same time. However, no such urgency exists in the case of the YSR Congress members.