Karnataka govt formation: HD Kumaraswamy seeks to bring together anti-BJP forces at swearing-in ceremony

Karnataka governor Vajubhai R Vala on Saturday invited Janata Dal (Secular)'s legislative party leader HD Kumaraswamy to form the next government in the state, following the resignation of BJP's BS Yeddyurappa ahead of his trust vote.

"The governor has invited me to form the next government as the leader of the JD(S) legislative party with the support of the Congress, which is our alliance partner," Kumaraswamy told reporters at the Raj Bhavan after the meeting.

The JD(S) leader also said the governor had given him 15 days to prove that he has the majority in the 224-member legislative Assembly, whose strength is currently 222.

"I have decided to form the JD(S)-Congress government by taking oath at 11 am in the Kanteerva stadium," added Kumaraswamy.

Many prominent political leaders from the Opposition — like Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, BSP chief Mayawati — have been invited for the swearing-in ceremony.

The order for advancing the trust vote to Saturday came from the Supreme Court as the Congress and the JD(S) filed a petition challenging Governor Vajubhai Vala's invitation to Yeddyurappa to form government and his giving the BJP leader 15 days to prove majority.

 Karnataka govt formation: HD Kumaraswamy seeks to bring together anti-BJP forces at swearing-in ceremony

BS Yeddyurappa addressing the Vidhan Soudha. PTI

While the BJP emerged as the single-largest party, the Congress and the JD(S), which formed a post-poll alliance, said they had the required numbers to form the government.

Of the 222 seats, the BJP won 104, Congress 78, JD(S) 37, and one each was bagged by the BSP, the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party, and an Independent.

Yeddyurappa's emotional speech

A little ahead of the appointed time of trust vote at 4 pm, Yeddyurappa made an emotional speech, saying the BJP didn't get the numbers needed to prove majority in the House. "I will lose nothing if I lose power, my life is for the people," he said.

In his 15-minute address to the House, the 75-year-old BJP leader said there was no way he could have served the people of Karnataka, as the Congress was not allowing its MLAs even to speak to their family members.

Lamenting that hundreds of farmers had committed suicides across the state during the last five years, Yeddyurappa said the Congress could not ensure water for irrigating the farmlands in the state even 70 years after the Independence.

"My aim is to serve farmers till my last breath. I will also continue to serve all the people, including the Dalits, backward classes, weaker sections and the poor," reiterated Yeddyurappa who was the first BJP Chief Minister in south India when the party came to power on its own in Karnataka in 2008 assembly election.

Opposition welcomes Yeddyurappa's resignation

After Yeddyurappa's resignation, Rahul Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he should learn lessons from Yeddyurappa having been forced to resign as the Karnataka chief minister two days after he was sworn in.

"Did you notice that after the entire exercise in the Vidhan Soudha in Karnataka, the BJP legislators and the Speaker chose to get up and leave the House before the national anthem?" said Congress president Rahul Gandhi as he addressed a press conference.

"In a way, this is what we are fighting today: The idea that you can rubbish every institution in this country. This is something that the BJP and RSS do again and again. There is no institution which is worthy of the respect of the prime minister and Amit Shah. They believe every single institution can be ignored by them," he said.

"(The people of Karnataka) have been shown that in India, power is not everything. Money is not everything. Corruption is not everything. I would like to thank the people of Karnataka for defending what is much more than the election in Karnataka," said the Congress chief.

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah also welcomed Yeddyurappa's resignation. "Democracy has won in Karnataka. The conspiracy made by the BJP has failed to authorise the anti-constitutional measures," he tweeted.

Other prominent Opposition leaders like Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee, N Chandrababu Naidu and MK Stalin also welcomed the resignation and said that it was a victory for democracy.

With inputs from IANS

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Updated Date: May 19, 2018 22:51:26 IST