Facing inevitable defeat in the event of a trust vote to test his two-day-old BJP government, Karnataka’s chief minister BS Yeddyurappa opted to resign on Saturday instead of facing a confidence motion in the Karnataka legislative assembly.
Yeddyurappa later submitted his resignation to governor Vajubhai Vala, paving the way for a JD(S)-Congress coalition government led by former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, who stated that he will take oath as chief minister on May 21. “The governor has invited me to form the government. The oath ceremony will be held on Monday between 12 noon-1 pm,” Kumaraswamy told reporters after meeting the governor. He said the governor has given him 15 days to prove majority, “but we will do it much before”.
(Late night, it was announced that oath ceremony will take place on Wednesday)
When the house convened on Saturday morning, 76 MLAs of the Congress, who arrived from Hyderabad, where they had been taken for ‘safekeeping’, trooped into the house along with three independent MLAs. The group exuded confidence that it would win the trust vote despite the absence of two MLAs — Anand Singh and Prathapgouda Patil. The JD(S) contingent of 37 MLAs, who also arrived from Hyderabad in the morning, gave the Congress a few tense moments when they got a little late.
But after they arrived, it was clear that the Congress-JD(S) combine had 116 MLAs (76 Congress, 37 JD(S) and three independents) on their side and had a clear majority, despite the absence of two Congress MLAs, while the BJP had only 104 MLAs on its side.
“People have rejected JD(S) and Congress and they know it. After losing the election, the two parties have indulged in opportunistic politics. The governor gave us the right to take oath as the single-largest party,” Yeddyurappa said in his speech in the house before resigning. The two-day tenure as chief minister beat Yeddyurappa’s previous record of seven days in power in 2007, when he resigned ahead of a trust vote after the collapse of a BJP-JD(S) alliance.