No Rotational CM arrangement with Congress: Kumaraswamy

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BENGALURU, May 20: Karnataka’s Chief Minister designate HD Kumaraswamy has said the post will not be shared between him and the Congress — a rotational deal that had soured his tie-up with the BJP in 2007. The details of power sharing were finalised at a key meeting last night, under which a Congress candidate will be the deputy of Mr Kumaraswamy.
In 2007, the BJP-JDS alliance had collapsed after 20 months. The northern party alleged that Mr Kumaraswamy had failed to honour the power-sharing agreement and step down to make way for a BJP Chief Minister.
Asked if his party has a similar agreement with the Congress, Mr Kumaraswamy responded in the negative.
The Congress had offered Mr Kumaraswamy’s party, the JD(S), unconditional support when the two parties entered into a last-minute partnership during the counting of votes on Tuesday to keep the BJP out of power.
The alliance tasted victory only on Saturday, after BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa stepped down ahead of a trust vote. Unable to muster majority, his party was facing Congress allegations of coercion and abduction of lawmakers. With the support of 116 lawmakers, the Congress-JD(S) combine claim they have majority.
The BJP has alleged that the alliance is a mere marriage of convenience and would fall through very soon.
The last partnership between the Congress and the JD(S), made in 2004, had lasted less than two years. It broke at the prospect of the Congress support to Siddaramaiah, a senior JD(S) who had parted company with the party after Mr Kumaraswamy’s elevation and formed one of his own.
Mr Siddaramaiah eventually joined the Congress and became its Chief Minister, but the two parties were not the best of friends. This time, before the alliance, the Congress had accused the JD(S) of being the BJP’s “B Team”.
Today, Mr Kumaraswamy said in view of their differing ideologies, the two allies will formulate a Common Minimum Programme for smooth governance in the state. A coalition coordination committee will also be formed.
The meeting last evening was attended by Congress’s central leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
(PTI)