India

India's Karnataka gets second chief minister in a week

HD Kumaraswamy (C) speaks at a party meeting in Bangalore on 16 May 2018. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption HD Kumaraswamy will lead a coalition of Congress and Janata Dal (S)

A new chief minister has been sworn in in India's southern state of Karnataka, the second one to do so in a week.

HD Kumaraswamy will head a coalition government of the main opposition Congress party and Janata Dal (S), a regional ally.

He replaces BS Yeddyurappa of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who was in office for less than three days.

Mr Yeddyurappa resigned on 19 May, minutes before a vote of confidence, having failed to secure a majority.

The BJP won 104 of the 222 seats in recent state elections, eight seats short.

The Congress emerged as the second largest party and declared an alliance with Janata Dal (S) - together they had enough seats to give their coalition a majority in the new assembly.

So there was controversy when the state's governor, Vajubhai Vala, invited the BJP to form the government and even allowed Mr Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as chief minister.

Congress complained that the BJP lacked the necessary support and the Supreme Court ordered Saturday's vote, ending BJP hopes of running the state.

The polls are seen as a bellwether of the 2019 general elections.

Analysts believe losing Karnataka would have been a major blow for Congress, which ruled only three of India's 29 states before Mr Kumaraswamy took the oath. The BJP and its allies are in power in 21.

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