Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated HD Kumaraswamy on taking oath as the Karnataka chief minister and extended best wishes on his new assignment:
"To some Swami ji's all I have to say is, if you have a favourite case or community, then keep that to your mutt. My politics has never been about one or two castes. A Swami's job is not to criticise politicians, they should advise us or join politics themselves. If Swami ji's want to talk about how only BJP has the right to form government, let them come into politics. Your job is to spread dharma, not comment on politics. I respect seers but such comments pain me. What wrong have I done? It was me who brought the BJP to power 10 years back. Let them realise my contribution to their party. Don't think of the JDS as a small party. Nelson Mandela used to say poverty is not an accident, it can be removed. That is our main focus. We want justice, food, shelter and peace for all. That is this government's aim," says Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy.
"There will a delicate balance to running this government, the Congress have their ideas and I have mine. We will work towards both of them. You will come to know of it all when my government presents a new budget. I already have a blueprint on how to waive farmer loans. Let's now keep the politics aside and work towards the state's development. My office will be open 24 hours for you to come and report on where we have gone wrong. There is no one more adjustable than G Parameshwara, who is the deputy CM. I can guarantee you that any difference of opinion will be solved within minutes," said Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy.
JD(S) chief HD Kumaraswamy is addressing a press conference as the latest CM of Karnataka. "No party got the clear majority in the elections. We are not responsible for the political instability. I have to take a trust vote on 25th, until then, I have no powers. Our BJP friends are up to a lot of activity in this, I will respond to them in the assembly. This government will be more stable than you realise. This is for the first time that so many national-level leaders are coming together on one stage for an oath-taking ceremony," he said.
The Karnataka Congress twitter handle is posting pictures of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former party chief Sonia Gandhi's meeting with opposition leaders:
A united opposition at the swearing-in ceremony of @hd_kumaraswamy! UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi flanked by @BSP4Bharat Chief Mayawati ji, and Congress President @RahulGandhi wave to the cheering crowds. #UnitedInVictory pic.twitter.com/vBOYgRxyaj— Congress (@INCIndia) May 23, 2018
On his part, Chandrababu Naidu expressed happiness about a leader of a regional party taking over as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. "I met Mamata ji and we all have come here to witness the swearing-in ceremony of Kumaraswamy. He is from a regional party and we are very happy that he has become the Chief Minister of Karnataka," he said. "We are expressing our solidarity, and in future we will work together to protect ourselves and to promote nation, that's our agenda" he added. Asked whether this is the coming together of a front against Prime Minister Narendra Modi or BJP, Naidu said "We want to promote more and more regional parties. We want to strengthen (regional parties). That is Mamata ji's and our party's mission and that is how we are working." To a question on whether his party TDP was fine with the Congress' presence at such a platform, he said, "We are witnessing Kumaraswamy's swearing-in ceremony and he is from a regional party."
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu today pitched for all regional parties to come together for the development of a federal setup in the country. "We are present here to support Kumaraswamy ji and his government and we hope for the best," Banerjee told reporters with Naidu standing next to her. "We will keep in touch with all the regional parties so that we can work for the development of the nation, development of the people and development of the federal set-up also," the West Bengal chief minister added. If states are strong, the Centre would also be strong, she said adding, "Our mission and vision is very clear, that we can meet each other, we can talk to each other, and we can go to every state and talk to each other that will give us more strength for the future of the country."
"Congratulations to Shri HD Kumaraswamy and Shri G Parameshwar on taking oath as the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka. I hope, Karnataka will move forward towards peace, progress and prosperity under the new Govt," tweets Home Minister Rajnath Singh:
Congratulations to Shri HD Kumaraswamy and Shri G Parameshwar on taking oath as the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka. I hope, Karnataka will move forward towards peace, progress and prosperity under the new Govt.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) May 23, 2018
The opposition parties have sent probably their strongest message of unity as all leaders come stand to wave to the crowd. This war cry will probably send tremors to the BJP, who are going to have the fight of their lives to maintain its power in 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. Can the opposition maintain its unity heading into 2019? Can they come under a single-umbrella to form a national-level alliance? The questions remain but for now, its is BJP vs the everyone else in 2019:
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The Chief Minister's Office has said that Rao will skip Kumaraswamy's oath-taking ceremony because of "important engagements". Speculation, however, is rife that he doesn't want to share the stage with leaders of the Congress, the regional rival of his party Telangana Rashtra Samiti.
Party heads from Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal is not the BJP's only worry. Maharashtra accounts for the second largest number of Lok Sabha seats: 48, and in 2014, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance swept 41 seats. BJP won 23 seats and Shiv Sena 18. The Shiv Sena has already announced that it will contest the 2019 election separately and an embittered Sena poses a serious challenge to the BJP's chances of repeating its 2014 landslide in the state. Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, between them, account for 128 seats in the Lok Sabha. The BJP-led NDA won 114 of those 128 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll. While no party leader of the Shiv Sena will be present at the swearing-in, N Chandrababu Naidu of the TDP might be present there. The party, in 2014 had got 2.55% of the total vote share and had won 16 seats.
The swearing-in of Kumaraswamy might as well be the emergence of an alternate front that can give BJP a fight. The representatives of the political parties, which will be present at the podium, together form more than 40% of the vote share which these parties got during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in which BJP came first with 31% of the vote share. The BJP’s vote share had then translated into 285 seats for them. Currently, BJP has 274 Lok Sabha seats. The Opposition leaders present at the event also represent more than 157 seats together. This includes heads of parties like Congress which has 48 seats, All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) with 34 seats, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with 16 seats, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) with 11 seats, Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM) with nine seats, and other regional party heads which together take the tally to 157.
Several prominent Opposition leaders and chief ministers will be sharing the podium at the swearing-in ceremony of Janata Dal (Secular)'s HD Kumaraswamy as Karnataka chief minister in Bengaluru. The event will also be used as an opportunity by the Opposition to showcase its strength as parties are now setting sight on the equations ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The ceremony will be participated by two main Opposition heavyweights, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo, Mayawati is also set to travel to Bengaluru to attend Kumaraswamy’s oath-taking ceremony. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also confirmed his attendance, as did Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Other politicians include West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, CPI(M) chief Sitaram Yechury, former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, NC’s Farooq Abdullah, DMK chief M. Stalin, and actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan.
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Also missing from the event will be Telangana CM and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K Chandrashekar Rao, who has been working towards the formation of a non-BJP, non-Congress Federal Front ahead of the 2019 general elections in tandem with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee.
JD(S) chief and soon-to-be sworn-in chief minister of Karnataka HD Kumaraswamy, his father the former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda has arrived at Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru. Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Sharad Yadav, JD(S)' Danish Ali are all sharing the stage together. The smiles and the camaraderie between the leaders is sending a strong message to all those viewing the same:
Pinarayi Vijayan, Rahul Gandhi Arrive at Vidhana Soudha | Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Congress president Rahul Gandhi have arrived at Vidhana Soudha for HD Kumaraswamy's swearing-in ceremony, which will begin in half an hour. Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav, Chandrababu Naidu, Arvind Kejriwal and Sitaram Yechury had arrived earlier.
Teaser of Federal Front in Making | The swearing-in of Kumaraswamy as the chief minister of Karnataka, seen as the convergence of the Opposition to take on the BJP in 2019, might as well be the emergence of an alternate front that can give BJP a fight. The representatives of the political parties, which will be present at the podium, together form more than 40% of the vote share which these parties got during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in which BJP came first with 31% of the vote share. The BJP’s vote share then had translated into 285 seats for them. Currently BJP has 274 Lok Sabha seats. READ FULL STORY HERE
Guests Meet Ahead of HDK's Swearing-in Ceremony | Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu and CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury met ahead of HD Kumaraswamy's swearing-in as Chief Minister of Karnataka.
Bengaluru: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu and CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury met, ahead of attending HD Kumaraswamy's swearing-in as Chief Minister of #Karnataka. pic.twitter.com/uTnCSqw3Sg— ANI (@ANI) May 23, 2018
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As the drama unfolded in Krnataka, Shivakumar made sure that no Congress MLA switched sides and even brought two "missing" MLAs - Pratap Gouda Patil and Anand Singh - back into the party.
I Never Said I'm Aspirant of CM Post, Shivakumar Says | "No one is unhappy, we all are together. We are celebrating that our government is coming in power. I never said that I'm an aspirant of Karnataka Chief Minister post. All is well," says Congress's DK Shivakumar.
No one is unhappy, we all are together. We are celebrating that our government is coming in power. I never said that I'm an aspirant of #Karnataka Chief Minister post. All is well: DK Shivakumar, Congress #Bengaluru pic.twitter.com/p307QtOZr6— ANI (@ANI) May 23, 2018
Sitaram Yechury, Sharad Pawar and Akhilesh Yadav arrive in Bengaluru to take part in the oath-taking ceremony of JD(S)' HD Kumaraswamy as the Chief Minister.