NATIONAL NEWS

Kumaraswamy to take oath as CM on Wednesday

Bengaluru, May 20: Janata Dal-Secular’s (JD-S) legislative party leader HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday said he will take oath as Karnataka Chief Minister on May 23 here in the presence of several national leaders.

“I’ve deferred taking oath to Wednesday on the advise of the Congress as May 21 is (ex-Prime Minister) Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary. On Thursday, the Speaker will be elected and the date of seeking trust vote will be decided after that,” Kumaraswamy told reporters here.

The JD-S leader told the media on Saturday that he has been invited by Governor Vajubhai R. Vala to form the government as the leader of the JD-S legislative party with the support of the Congress. The invitation came a few hours after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislature party leader B.S. Yeddyurappa on Saturday stepped down as the Chief Minister ahead of his trust vote as his party with 104 seats fell short of 7 seats for a simple majority (111) in the 224-member hung Assembly.

Though Kumaraswamy had said he would take oath on Monday, he put it off to May 23 on the Congress advise as May 21 is the death anniversary of Gandhi, who was killed in 1991 by Sri Lankan Tamil rebels at Sriperumbudur near Chennai. Kumaraswamy will be flying to Delhi to meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday.

“I will discuss with them (Rahul and Sonia) on the cabinet expansion. So far, I’m not sure about the Congress stand. We want to make sure the government is a stable one,” Kumaraswamy said.

Apart from the Congress leaders, he has also invited Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to attend the swearing-in ceremony, the JD-S leader said. IANS