BJP Quits, JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy to take oath as K'taka CM

B S Yeddyurappa’s third chief ministerial stint lasted all of 55 hours, and his resignation on Saturday evening came as a shot in the arm for an Opposition struggling to mount a united challenge to the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The swearing-in of the H D Kumaraswamy-headed Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government on Wednesday is set to become a show of Opposition unity with several chief ministers likely to attend the event. Governor Vajubhai Vala has given Kumaraswamy 15 days to prove his majority.

The rise of Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka may act as a platform to unite opposition parties, especially the regional parties to play a bigger role in the national arena during parliamentary elections in 2019, JD(S) has indicated.

Indicative of this is the invitation extended to leaders of regional parties to attend the swearing-in of the JDS-Congress coalition government in Karnataka.

UPA chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi would be invited to the swearing-in ceremony, JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, who would be sworn in as the next chief minister of Karnataka, told reporters.

"We have invited Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, west Bengal chief minister Mamata Bannerjee, BSP leader Mayawati, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and other leaders from regional parties," Kumaraswamy said

JD(S) spokesperson Ramesh Babu told PTI, "The national political scenario favours the regional parties today... Congress party's tie-up with regional parties in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and now in Karnataka indicate that the regional parties will take a centrestage in the national politics. They will all come in one platform."

Babu said the right time has arrived for the secular forces to unite due to the "undeclared emergency" in the country.

"It is the attitude of the central government, which made it inevitable for the regional parties to unite the secular forces and fight against BJP and save democracy.

For that Karnataka will lead. We will see to it that regional parties play a vital role in 2019 elections," Babu said.

He said JD(S) has invited Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who are its coalition partners in Karnataka.

"The event (swearing-in ceremony) will set a trend for the parliamentary elections in 2019.

Under the leadership of our leader HD Deve Gowda, it is our privilege to provide platform to all secular parties and regional parties in Karnataka," he added.