Perceived as kingmaker, H D Kumaraswamy becomes the king

Bengaluru: "I will be the king and not the kingmaker," H D Kumaraswamy had said in the run-up to the Karnataka polls. His words proved prophetic as the 58-year-old Vokkaliga leader on Wednesday was sworn in as the Karnataka chief minister despite his JD(S) finishing a poor third in the electoral battlefield in Karnataka. 

He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Vajubhai Vala at a grand ceremony in the Vidhana Soudha complex, the seat of power in Bengaluru. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to HD Kumaraswamy and congratulated him on taking oath as Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Later after taking oath, Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy said, "This coalition government (Congress-JD(S)) will run better than any one party government and we will concentrate on working for the public. We have decided to work together for the betterment of the state."

Vala also administered the oath to state Congress chief and prominent Dalit leader G Parameshwara as the deputy chief minister. 

Other members of the council of ministers will be inducted after the Kumaraswamy government wins the trust vote on Friday. 

Attired in the traditional "dhoti" and white shirt, Kumaraswamy took the oath in the name of God and the people of "Kannada Nadu". 

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, N Chandrababu Naidu, and Pinarayi Vijayan, her counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala respectively, were present. 

Tejashwi Yadav, the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, BSP chief Mayawati and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav, who have struck an alliance in Uttar Pradesh, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, and socialist leader Sharad Yadav were also in attendance. 

The show of strength by a galaxy of national leaders and regional satraps is being seen as a strong signal to the BJP about the possibility of formation of a broad-based front to take on the BJP-led NDA in the Lok Sabha polls next year. 

On the show of strength that turned up at the Vidhana Soudha on Wednesday, CM Kumaraswamy said, "Leaders who came from all over country wanted to give a message to the nation that we are one and in 2019 there will be a major change in political situation.They were not here to protect this government, this government will be protected by local Congress leaders and our leaders."

Though Kumaraswamy has managed to be back at the helm of affairs in Karnataka, managing the contradictions in the coalition may not be a smooth sailing for him after the JD(S) and Congress fought a bitter electoral battle in the state, particularly in the old Mysuru region. 

The first task for him would be a smooth expansion of his Council of Ministers, as the Congress would want to have a big share in the ministerial pie as it has more than double the number of MLAs the JD(S) has. 

The BJP, with its 104 MLAs would be a formidable opposition and would do everything to keep the government on its toes. The BJP, which dubbed the Congress-JD(S) alliance as "unholy", boycotted the oath-taking ceremony and observed an "anti-popular mandate day", sending out a stern message that the bitter fallout of the split electoral verdict would continue to dog the state's politics for a long time to come.

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Note from Kannada.Club :

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