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Deputy Chief Minister may be sworn in later

S. Rajendran

Prakash also attends Janata Dal (S) Legislature Party meeting

— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

HIGH-LEVEL MEETING: President of Janata Dal (Secular) H.D. Deve Gowda, party’s State unit president Merajuddin Patel, the former Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy, party leader Shivanna, and the former Minister, H.D. Revanna, at the Janata Dal (S) Legislature Party meeting in Bangalore on Sunday.

BANGALORE: The Janata Dal (Secular), much to the chagrin of its coalition partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party, has decided to have an independent swearing-in ceremony for the Deputy Chief Minister and 17 of its Ministers.

Sources in the Janata Dal (S) told The Hindu on Sunday that the party leadership has tentatively chosen the former Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy, as its nominee for the post. The official announcement would be made only on the day of the swearing-in ceremony of the party nominees to the Council of Ministers.

Should Mr. Kumaraswamy be officially selected as the Deputy Chief Minister, it will be a reversal of roles for both B.S. Yeddyurappa and Mr. Kumaraswamy. The latter had earlier spurned the offer since he had served as the Chief Minister for 20 months and could, therefore, not take charge of a subordinate position. The Janata Dal (S) legislators, however, prevailed upon him to accept the post.

There are three instances of a former Chief Minister serving as Minister in the State. Kadidal Manjappa who was Chief Minister later served as Revenue Minister under the late B.D. Jatti. Jatti himself had served as Finance Minister. S.R. Kanti, who was Chief Minister, then became Food Minister under the late S. Nijalingappa.

While the initial plan of the BJP-Janata Dal (S) combine was to have the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister sworn in on Monday with the rest of the Council of Ministers to be sworn in after the new Government sails through the motion of confidence on the floor of the legislature, the Janata Dal (S), on Sunday, unilaterally changed plans after a meeting of its Legislature Party. The Janata Dal (S) leaders and legislators have, however, decided to be present at the swearing-in ceremony of Mr. Yeddyurappa.

Mr. Kumaraswamy, who earlier in the day was unanimously re-elected the leader of the Janata Dal (S) Legislature Party, said, “We are not in a hurry for our swearing-in ceremony. We have extended all support to Mr. Yeddyurappa and will participate in the programme when he takes charge of the office of the Chief Minister.”

At a high-level meeting of the Janata Dal (S), Mr. Kumaraswamy was tentatively selected for the post of the Deputy Chief Minister as sought by a majority of the party legislators. H.D. Revanna, former Minister and elder brother of Mr. Kumaraswamy, and Merajuddin Patel, State president of the Janata Dal (S), were the other contenders.

Much to the delight of the party leadership, the former Home Minister, M.P. Prakash, attended the Janata Dal (S) Legislature Party meeting. He also participated in the meeting to choose the Deputy Chief Minister.

Among the others who addressed the legislature party meeting was the former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda.

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