It's HDK’s big day, floor test likely on Friday

It's HDK’s big day, floor test likely on Friday

Karnataka’s first coalition government in more than a decade will be formed on Wednesday with H D Kumaraswamy taking oath as chief minister leading the Congress-JD(S) coalition. State Congress chief G Parameshwara will take oath as deputy chief minister.

The grand steps of Vidhana Soudha is where Governor Vajubhai R Vala will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Kumaraswamy at 4.30 pm in what will be his second stint as chief minister. The first time Kumaraswamy became CM was also in a coalition when the JD(S) had allied with the BJP in 2006.

A huge stage has been set up on the flight of stairs of Vidhana Soudha and seating arrangements have been made for one lakh people including 3,000 VIPs.

Kumaraswamy will be offering prayers to Goddess Chamundeshwari in Mysuru and later visit Chamundeshwari Temple in Ramanagar before returning to Bengaluru to take oath. Parameshwara’s nomination as deputy chief minister was announced amid pressure from Congress legislators who insisted that someone from the party took oath along with Kumaraswamy, lest it would demoralise party workers. Parameshwara will be the first Dalit to occupy the post of deputy chief minister.

The Congress-JD(S) coalition is taking shape even as both camps are ironing out differences in allocation of ministries and power-sharing. “Everything is alright. There’s nothing to worry,” Kumaraswamy said.

Soon after the swearing both Kumaraswamy and Parameshwara will enter the cabinet hall in Vidhana Soudha and hold the first Cabinet meeting 

The Congress-JD(S) government is likely to prove its majority on the floor of the Assembly on May 25.

On Tuesday, Kumaraswamy held a meeting with Congress leaders where some key decisions were taken. “Out of 34 ministries, 22 will go with Congress and 12, including the post of CM, is with the JD(S),” AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal said. Allocation of portfolios will be finalized after the floor test, he added.

The Congress will get the post of Speaker. The party is likely to nominate K R Ramesh Kumar.

It will be a JD(S) person for deputy Speaker.

A coordination committee to ensure synergy between the Congress and the JD(S) will be formed in a couple of days, Venugopal said. The committee will also help draft a common minimum programme help the alliance partners reach common ground in terms of the promises made in their manifestos.

Over a lakh people are expected to participate in Kumaraswamy’s oath-taking ceremony.

The event promises to be a made-for-television affair with a star-studded guest list that includes Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, BSP chief Mayawati, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu, actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan, former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav among others.

Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao met Kumaraswamy and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda on Tuesday evening and returned, whereas DMK working president MK Stalin reportedly cancelled his participation in the oath-taking owing to the anti-Sterlite protest in Tuticorin.