The 14-month-old ruling coalition of Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) lost a trust vote in the Assembly on Tuesday after 99 MLAs voted in favour of it and 105 legislators went against it. The trust vote was necessitated after 15 MLAs of the alliance resigned. The coalition government had come to power in May last year and the next election is due in 2023.
Yediyurappa will need to prove his majority in the Assembly by July 31, according to News9. The BJP leader invited former chief ministers, HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular) and Siddaramaiah of the Congress, to his oath-taking ceremony.
Before leaving for Raj Bhavan to meet Vala, Yediyurappa said since he was already the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, “there is no need for a legislature party meeting to nominate me as its chief”, according to the Hindustan Times.
This came a day after a group of senior leaders from the state met BJP President Amit Shah and Working President JP Nadda on Thursday to discuss the political situation in Karnataka.
Former state minister and BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje refuted allegations that the BJP central leadership wanted to adopt a more cautious approach and wanted to wait for a few more days, PTI reported.
“Yediyurappa staked claim to form the government only after getting a nod from the central leadership,” Karandlaje said. “He and the central leaders are on the same page.”
Bharatiya Janata Party’s national media head Anil Baluni said the new dispensation will be development oriented and stable, unlike the previous “unholy alliance” of the Congress and the JD(S) coalition. “This government is as per the mandate given by the people of Karnataka,” Baluni was quoted as saying. “An unholy alliance was formed between the Congress and the JD(S), which was not according to the mandate of the people of the state.”
The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), meanwhile, criticised the BJP and the governor.
“Corruption Icon and former jail bird Shri [BS Yediyurappa] has used his excellent horse-trading skills to subvert democracy and come to power,” the Congress said in a tweet. “People of Karnataka remember his disastrous tenure as CM between 2008-2011, which ended with BSY in jail. History is all set to repeat again.”
Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the BJP’s strength was only 105, lesser than the half-way mark. “In no way BJP can form the [government] if Constitution is followed,” he said. “This only proves that BJP has no belief in the democratic values.”
The Assembly has become an “experimental lab” for the Bharatiya Janata Party and the “BJP backed governor to try unconstitutional ways” to form government, he added. “In what article of the constitution is the governor allowed to permit the party to form [government] that doesn’t have majority? It is shame!!”
The Janata Dal (Secular) criticised the governor for letting the BJP form government and called it undemocratic. It also called the BJP “horse-trading party of India”.
Karnataka ended up with a fractured mandate after Assembly elections in May 2018. The BJP was the largest party with 105 seats, but it was eight short of the majority mark of 113. The party still went ahead to stake claim, hoping to get Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs on board before a floor test. Yediyurappa took oath as chief minister, only to resign two days later before the trust vote could take place.
The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), which were able to cross the majority mark together, formed a post-poll alliance to form the government, with HD Kumaraswamy as chief minister. The ruling coalition had a difficult run for 14 months. After losing the trust vote last week, the Congress accused the BJP of carrying out “one of the most heinous” instances of horse-trading in the country.
On Thursday, Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh disqualified three rebel MLAs – R Shankar, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli – who withdrew support to the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress government. He added that he would decide on the remaining 12 resignations “in a couple of days”.