Karnataka LIVE: Congress, JD(S) MLAs meet on portfolios in Kumaraswamy government

The JD(S) and Congress are negotiating on who will hold what position in the Karnataka government ahead of HD Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony on May 23 at 4.30pm at Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru . Here are the live updates.

As Karnataka chief minister-designate HD Kumaraswamy dismissed reports of differences between his JD(S) and the Congress over the distribution of portfolios, newly elected MLAs of the two parties met in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Kumaraswamy visited UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday. Both parties decided to set up a joint coordination committee and formulate a common minimum programme for the smooth functioning of their coalition government.

5.20pm: The swearing-in of JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy as Karnataka chief minister tomorrow would signal the formation of a “secular” and anti-BJP front in the country, senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily said, reports PTI.

“All opposition, many of whom have not joined together at any time earlier… first time they are joining together… it signals the formation of anti-BJP, and positively for secular front in the country,” the former Karnataka chief minister told PTI.

5.17pm: HD Kumaraswamy, Siddaramaiah, KC Venugopal, Mallikarjun Kharge, HD Revanna and DK Shivakumar present at Congress -JD(S) meeting in Bengaluru to discuss portfolio sharing, reports ANI.

5.02pm: After a group of Muslim organisations insisted that seven-time Congress MLA from Shivajinagar Roshan Baig should be made deputy chief minister in the new government of Karnataka, the latter said he does not find any problem in the demand, reports ANI.

5.02pm: With Janata Dal’s (Secular) HD Kumaraswamy set to take oath as Karnataka chief minister on May 23, Congress is likely to have its own MLA as the speaker of the state assembly, ANI reports.

4.36pm: In a gesture high on symbolism, Janata Party founder Jayaprakash Narayan, the man who brought down the Indira Gandhi government after Emergency, has found a place in newspaper advertisements put out by the JD(S) a day before it forms the government in Karnataka, PTI reports.

4.22pm: BJP names BN Prahlad, brother of incumbent MLA BN Vijaykumar who died during campaigning, as its candidate from Karnataka’s Jayanagar assembly constituency, where the election will be held on June 11.

4.12pm: Supreme Court refuses to accord urgent hearing to a plea filed by Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) challenging Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to invite the Congress-JD (S) combine to form government in Karnataka.

4.00pm: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury says, “BJP’s practice of losing elections but forming the government has been stopped in Karnataka. Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala CM) and I will attend the oath-taking ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy tomorrow.”

3.33pm: The swearing-in of HD Kumaraswamy as Karnataka CM tomorrow is likely to see one-time rivals in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, sharing the stage, reports PTI.

3.23pm: On the issue of deputy chief minister post, Congress legislator DK Shivakumar said he doesn’t want to show his strength. “I don’t want to show my numbers. I have faith in Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. We all believe in one man resolution,that is the party high command. They will take a call on who has to be what,” Shivakumar tells ANI.

3.15pm: Congress MLA Roshan Baig says what is wrong in Muslim organisations demanding he be made the deputy chief minister. “Why not? If people from other communities can make demands then why can’t people from my community? But, in the end high command will decide,” Baig tells ANI.

2.57pm: BJP leader and Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka will not last long as the two parties have come together with a “selfish motive”.

“People of Karnataka gave the mandate for the BJP, which won 104 seats. The Congress-JD(S) alliance has been formed with a selfish motive and it will not last for long,” the minister of state for food processing industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti tells PTI.

2.24pm: BJP spokesman Vamanacharya tells IANS that Yeddyurappa will continue to be the party’s state unit president till we return to power again. “He will become chief minister again before his political career ends,” he says.

Yeddyurappa, 75, resigned on Saturday before the crucial trust vote as he did not have the majority in a hung House, falling seven short of the 111-halfway mark in the 225-member Legislative Assembly, whose current strength is 222.

2.22pm: Kumaraswamy visits the Hindu holy towns of Dharmasthala and Sringeri to pray for the success of the Congress-(JD-S) coalition government.

“Although the people did not bless me and our party with a clear mandate, I have got an opportunity again to serve them by God’s grace and my parents’ blessings,” Kumaraswamy had told reporters on Monday.

2.12pm: Kumaraswamy says most of the leaders, other than those from BJP, will attend oath-taking ceremony on Wednesday. “Rahul Ji, Ghulam Nabi Aazad, Maywati Ji, Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav, Chandrababu Naidu, Stalin, several people are coming,” says the Karnataka chief minister-designate. Read more.

12.58pm: A group of Muslim organisations addresses media, demands that either seven-time Congress MLA Roshan Baig or some other leader from Muslim community be made the deputy chief minister in the new government in Karnataka.

11.02am: Supreme Court refuses to give an early hearing into the petition filed by Hindu Mahasabha challenging the ‘unconstitutional’ oath-taking ceremony and appointment of HD Kumarswamy as the Karnataka chief minister.

10.35am: Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress says the first objective of the alliance is Speaker’s election, vote of confidence comes next. “Other things will be discussed only after these two are sorted,” says Kharge on distribution of portfolios in Congress-JD(S) government.

10am: Hindu Mahasabha files a petition before the Supreme Court challenging the oath-taking ceremony and appointment of HD Kumarswamy as the Karnataka chief minister, stating it is unconstitutional.

9.20am: BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa alleges irregularities in conduct of assembly elections in Karnataka. “I am of firm belief that Election Commission has taken a serious note of VVPAT machines found abandoned in a shed near Managuli village in Vijayapur district. It indicates grave irregularities in conduct of assembly polls in Karnataka,” Yeddyurappa tells ANI.

8.10am: Kumaraswamy will visit Dharmashala and Sringeri tomorrow to seek the blessings of Lord Manjunath, Sringeri Sharada Devi and the present Shankaracharya Sri Bharati Teertha, a release said.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi today confirmed his presence at the swearing-in ceremony of Kumaraswamy as Karnataka chief minister.

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