Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister B.S.Yeddyurappa on Saturday resigned from his post without moving the Supreme Court mandated trust vote in the floor of state Assembly (to prove his majority) barely two and a half days after he was sworn in, beating his own personal record of seven days in 2007.
“I am resigning from chief minister post and will go before the people again to seek justice against this anti-democratic government," Yeddyurappa said in the floor of the legislative assembly, almost choking on his words.
His conceding of defeat came as a major embarrassment to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the party, including its top leadership, were confident of getting eight more legislators to get a simple majority of 112 and taking away the last big state under Congress rule.
Elections held on 12 May to 222 of the state’s 224 seats have resulted in a hung assembly with the BJP having 104 MLAs, while the Congress won 78 seats and Janata Dal (Secular) 38 (including one from the Bahujan Samaj Party, its pre poll ally). Polling in two seats will be held later.
Yeddyurappa, in his almost 20 minute long speech on his personal struggles and concern for the farming community, accused the Congress and JD(S) of ‘opportunistic politics’ to circumvent the people’s verdict that had gone against them.
He said that the BJP would win all 28 Lok Sabha polls in 2019 as a ‘tribute’ to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Soon after Yeddyurappa’s resignation, BJP legislators, including its newly appointed pro tem speaker K.G.Bopaiah, walked out from the Assembly when the national anthem was being played, only to return when it was played for a second time after Congress protest.
Though the Congress and JD (S) formed a post poll alliance and communicated the same to the Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, the latter chose to invite Yeddyurappa to form the government and prove his majority within 15 days.
The Congress and JD (S) moved Supreme Court challenging the decision of the governor based on precedence set by the BJP in other states like Goa in forming the government denying the largest party the first chance to do so.
Yeddyurappa, was sworn in on Thursday while the apex court, hearing the case on Friday, gave the chief minister just one day to prove his majority.
“I am very proud to say that the people of Karnataka have shown the BJP that power, money and corruption is not everything instead the will of the people is everything," Rahul Gandhi, Congress president told reporters in a press conference at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi.
He added that the opposition will come together, coordinate and defeat the BJP (in coming elections).
“The rule of law has won. Democracy has won. Manipulation does not work all the time," Ghulam Nabi Azad, senior Congress leader said after Yeddyurappa’s resignation in Bengaluru, referring to the alleged attempts of horse trading or trying to buy out legislators from opposition parties by the BJP.
K.C. Venugopal, Congress General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka accused the BJP of deputing their central ministers to Karnataka for ‘horse-trading’ and added that the PM should apologise to the nation.
Fearing being poached by BJP leaders, both Congress and JD (S) party leaders bungled up all its newly elected members into resorts in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
The Congress and JD (S) had alleged that multiple BJP leaders had contacted it’s members, luring them with huge sums of money and ministerial berths among other perks to jump to the saffron side.
The Congress released at least two such voice recordings of conversations purportedly belonging to senior BJP leaders trying to coax legislators to switch sides before the trust vote. Yeddyurappa admitted to have contacted multiple legislators by giving them ‘assurances’, which the party later clarified as ‘appeals’ and not materialistic benefits as alleged by the opposition.
The developments also bringing back a coalition government in Karnataka and the uncertainty that comes with it.
According to the earlier terms of agreement between Congress and JD (S), H.D.Kumaraswamy is set to be the next chief minister in the post poll alliance between the Congress and the JD(S).
Later on Saturday evening, Kumarswamy , after meeting with Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala, said that he would take oath as chief minister on Wednesday. Stating that governor Vala had given him 15 days to prove his majority, Kumarswamy said that the party would decide the division of ministerial berths between Congress-JD(S) among other issues later today. He added that the legislators will continue to stay together to thwart any further attempts by the BJP to poach them.