Regional parties must come together: CM
Bengaluru: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was one the key figures at the oath- ceremony of JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday.
Before the swearing-in, Mamata and her Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu pitched for all regional parties to come together for the development of a federal setup in the country.
The two leaders said they want to promote regional parties and strengthen them.
Both Banerjee and Naidu said they were happy that the leader of a regional party was assuming office and they were here to express their solidarity with the JDS.
"We are present here to support Kumaraswamy ji and his government, and we hope for the best," Banerjee told reporters with Naidu standing next to her.
"We will keep in touch with all the regional parties so that we can work for the development of the nation, development of the people and development of the federal set-up also," the Bengal chief minister added.
If states are strong, the Centre would also be strong, she said adding, "Our mission and vision is clear, that we can meet each other, we can talk to each other, and we can go to every state and talk to each other that will give us more strength for the future of the country."
On his part, Naidu expressed happiness about a leader of a regional party taking over as the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
"I met Mamata ji and we all have come here to witness the swearing-in ceremony of Kumaraswamy. He is from a regional party, and we are really happy that he has become the Chief Minister of Karnataka," he said.
"We are expressing our solidarity, and also in the future, we will work together to protect ourselves and to promote the nation, that's our agenda" he added.
Asked whether this is the coming together of a front against Prime Minister Narendra Modi or BJP, Naidu said "We want to promote more and more regional parties. We want to strengthen (regional parties). That is Mamata ji's and our party's mission, and that is how we are working."
The oath- ceremony of JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday was a unique public show of Opposition unity perceived as a possible harbinger of a broad-based anti-BJP alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year.
They smiled broadly, shook hands warmly, and even embraced each other at the bonhomie-filled event to herald the advent of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state amid doubts about its longevity.
Disparate in ideology but united in the intent of dislodging the BJP-led NDA from power in New Delhi, a bevy of leaders, from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to NCP's Sharad Pawar, from Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to her arch-rival CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, attended the event. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also one of the one high profile attendees.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati, who have sewn up an alliance in Uttar Pradesh, were among the first to arrive on stage.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who recently walked out of the NDA and is now a bitter critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's son Tejashwi Yadav, former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren of JMM, DMK chief M Karunanidhi's MP daughter Kanimozhi, and RLD leader Ajit Singh were among those present.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had flown to Bengaluru on Tuesday to congratulate Kumaraswamy.
The top leaders on the dais exuded warmth and cordiality.
Mayawati and Sonia clasped each other's hands before the BSP supremo put her arm around the UPA leader's waist.
Tejashwi, the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly touched the feet of Sonia and Mamata Banerjee as a mark of respect.
The meeting and greeting ended with the leaders posing for a group photograph, holding each other's hands and raising them in a show of solidarity.
Kumaraswamy, the third son of JD(S) supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Vajubhai Vala on a huge dais outside the majestic Vidhana Soudha, the seat of power in Karnataka.
G Parameshwara, the state Congress chief and the party's Dalit face, was sworn in as Kumaraswamy's deputy.
Kumaraswamy will expand his council of ministers after the trust vote on Friday which he is expected to win without any hiccups. The Congress, which has 78 MLAs, is likely to get 20 ministerial berths and the JD(S) with 37 lawmakers 12. See P5