Janata Dal Secular (JDS) leader HD Kumaraswamy will in all likelihood take oath as the chief minister of Karnataka for the second time in a few days. His party has finished a distant third in the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 but the Congress which is the second largest party in the house has decided to support the JDS to ensure that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not form a government in the state.
Kumaraswamy had on April 29 sounded confident that he would once again become the “king” and not merely play the role of a kingmaker in the state. “Not kingmaker, people will bless me as a king, that full confidence is there,” he had said. It seems he had a premonition about the results.
On May 15 as the Karnataka Assembly election results made it clear that BJP had emerged as the single-largest party in the state, the Congress got in touch with the JDS leadership and offered the chief minister’s post to Kumaraswamy. According to the Congress formula, the party will have one of its leaders as the deputy chief minister of Karnataka and 21 other ministers while the JDS will have 11 ministers apart from Kumaraswamy as the chief minister.
Senior Congress leader KC Venugopal said a group of Congress and JDS leaders would jointly meet Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Tuesday evening after all the results are declared. His party colleagues including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G Parameshwara addressed the media in Bengaluru and announced that their party will ally with the JDS to form the next government in the state.
“We accept the mandate of the people. We bow our heads to the verdict. We don’t have numbers to form the government. The Congress has offered to support JDS to form the government,” said Parameshwara. Azad added that he had spoken to Kumaraswamy and HD Deve Gowda about the Congress proposal.
The two parties had joined hands in 2004 too to keep the BJP out of power. At that time Congress leader Dharam Singh became the chief minister but the alliance broke after Kumaraswamy revolted. He then formed a government with BJP’s help and was the chief minister from February 2006 to October 2007.
Later, the JDS-BJP alliance too collapsed after Kumaraswamy decided he would not let BS Yeddyurappa take over as the chief minister of Karnataka.