Ahead of Karnataka floor test, BS Yeddyurappa resigns as chief minister, says this won't be my last agneepariksha

The political situation in Karnataka took a dramatic turn, when Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa quit from his post during his address to the Assembly on Saturday. The Bharatiya Janata Party failed to get requisite numbers to show majority ahead of the floor test in Karnataka assembly. Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the chief minister on 17 May. After delivering his speech in Vidhan Soudha, Yeddyurappa left to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala to submit his resignation.

In a speech, which is being dubbed as emotional, the 75-year-old said, "People of Karnataka blessed us with 104 seats. The mandate wasn't for Congress or Janata Dal Secular (JDS). Since I was announced as the chief minister candidate, I travelled to understand the needs of the state and the support I received during the tour is something that will remain with me for the rest of my life. I can't forget the love and affection I received from people."

 Ahead of Karnataka floor test, BS Yeddyurappa resigns as chief minister, says this wont be my last agneepariksha

Outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa being greeted by Congress senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Gulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot after BSY announced his resignation. PTI

Focussing on the issue of the farmers in Karnataka, Yeddyurappa said, "There are other larger issues that we must mull over, especially the plight of farmers of #Karnataka who have been driven to the brink of suicide by various factors. “Farmers in my state have undergone great agony over last five years. The welfare of farmers has always been my top priority. I have pledged to work for the welfare of farmers till my last breath. I promise that I will fight for the rights and welfare of my farmers and the weak till my last breath. My whole life has been a constant fight. I will continue to fight for what is right."

Slamming the Congress-JDS combine, the former Karnataka chief minister said that the alliance is "unholy". "Those who were swearing on the names of each other’s fathers and calling each other names before polls, have now come together to form this unholy alliance," he said. He added that the government must honour the dignity of farmers. "After so many years of Independence, we are not able to solve problems of farmers. Who won how many seats is not important. In the last five years, a lot has happened. I don't do party politics, I do people's politics. I have been humiliated. I will continue to fight for the farmers. All my life I fought for them, I want to save the state. I dedicate my life to farmers. Till my last breath I will work for them."

"The Congress government did nothing for the farmers or for the people of Karnataka. It is the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to uplift the lives of the people of Karnataka. I want to fulfil the prime minister's dream of joining the rivers in Karnataka to solve the farmer problems. Congress has divided the society on basis of caste and religion. Modi showed no partiality despite the state being ruled by the Congress. My entire life has been a test, today is one more. Today is agnipariksha day."

"If we had 113 seats, we would have changed the fate of this state. That did not happen. I expected the MLAs to come to my side. We will win all 28 Lok Sabha seats, that I assure the people. In the next assembly elections, we will win 150 seats. I will tour the state after this session. I will bring the party to power on my own. MLAs are fearful and scared. The JD(S) and Congress are harassing them. Even without power, I fight and live for the people. The Congress has subverted democracy. I am off to the Governor's house. I now give my resignation to the people of Karnataka," Yeddyurappa said.

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Yeddyurappa's resignation will pave the way for the formation of a government led by JDS state chief H D Kumaraswamy, who has the 'unconditional backing' of the Congress.

The 12 May election across the state in 222 constituencies of the 225-member assembly, including one nominated, threw up a hung House, with no party securing majority. Polls in two constituencies were deferred. Of the 222 seats, the BJP won 104, the Congress 78, the Janata Dal-Secular, 37 and one each was bagged by the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party and an Independent.

Cartoon by Manjul

Cartoon by Manjul

As JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy won from both Channapatna and Ramanagaram segments, the party's effective strength in the House was 36. As the single largest party, the BJP was short of crossing the halfway mark. Yeddyurappa required the 111 halfway mark to win the motion or one more than the half of the members present at the time of the floor test was conducted in the House with an effective strength of 221.

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Though the Governor had directed Yeddyurappa to seek a vote of confidence on the floor of the House within 15 days from the date of assumption of office as the Chief Minister (May 17), a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court ordered the floor test on Saturday, rejecting his plea for a week's time to prove his majority.

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Updated Date: May 19, 2018 19:17:26 IST