BJP govt to take oath to­day as Congress protests Guv al­low­ing new CM 15 days to cob­ble ma­jor­ity

Mail Today - - NEWS - By Rahul Shri­vas­tava in Ben­galuru

FIF­TEEN DAYS is a long time in pol­i­tics. And the clock will start count­ing down when BJP leader BS Yed­dyu­rappa takes oath as Kar­nataka’s new chief min­is­ter on Thurs­day.

The in­vite from the gov­er­nor on Wed­nes­day to take of­fice was the eas­ier part for the leader of the party that emerged as the sin­gle­largest one but re­mained tan­ta­lis­ingly eight short of the half­way mark in this month’s assem­bly polls. Prov­ing ma­jor­ity in 15 days would be harder.

Sources in the BJP said that the party, to pre­sent it­self as an in­clu­sive one, may in­duct one or two deputy CMs from dif­fer­ent castes, es­pe­cially Dal­its, along with a Lin­gayat chief min­is­ter.

A list of MLAs who will take the oath of of­fice as min­is­ters

is work in progress. A fi­nal list will be drawn up by Yed­dyu­rappa and three cen­tral min­is­ters camp­ing in Ben­galuru.

While the coun­ter­claim to form the gov­ern­ment from the Congress-JD(S) al­liance had the sup­port of 116 MLAs in the 222-mem­ber assem­bly (elec­tions to two other seats were coun­ter­manded), gov­er­nor Va­jub­hai Vala went by the sin­gle-largest party cri­te­ria with a mere as­sur­ance from the BJP that it will be able to prove its ma­jor­ity if in­vited. In a House with just two in­de­pen­dents and no float­ing group of leg­is­la­tors to as­sist the BJP’s num­ber hunt, the party’s prom­ise to get ma­jor­ity is clear in­di­ca­tion that it plans to poach from the ri­val camps.

The op­po­si­tion has de­clared an all-out war. On Wed­nes­day morn­ing, Congress lead­ers had said that “there would be blood­bath if the BJP at­tempts to split the Congress or JD(S) ranks”. Af­ter the gov­er­nor’s in­vite, the party called the de­ci­sion “mur­der of democ­racy”.

Oppn has de­clared an all-out war

In­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials have al­ready alerted Ben­galuru po­lice about the pos­si­bil­ity of Congress and JD(S) mem­bers protest­ing and threat­en­ing law and or­der. An in­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion let­ter was the first of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion of sorts that the BJP had been in­vited by the gov­er­nor and it asked all of­fi­cials to pre­pare for the pos­si­bil­ity of vi­o­lence by Congress and JD(S) cadres. The Congress slammed the in­vi­ta­tion.

“Gov­er­nor in­vites Mr Yed­dyu­rappa to man­u­fac­ture a ma­jor­ity in 15 days. Gov­er­nor gives Mr Yed­dyu­rappa 15 days to con­vert the num­ber 104 into 111,” Congress’s P Chi­dambaram tweeted.

The party also ap­proached the Supreme Court late on Wed­nes­day night, seek­ing an im­me­di­ate in­ter­ven­tion by the Chief Jus­tice against what it called “en­counter of the Con­sti­tu­tion”. The Congress urged CJI Di­pak Misra to hold an ur­gent hear­ing with Yed­dyu­rappa slated to take oath as CM at 9am on Thurs­day.

For­mer CM Sid­dara­ma­iah said the JD(S)-Congress com­bine should have been in­vited to form the gov­ern­ment as it had “the sup­port of 117 MLAs”. “PM Modi is en­cour­ag­ing horse-trad­ing. We are all united,” he said. There were some jit­ters in the Con­gressJD(S) camp as a few leg­is­la­tors went in­com­mu­ni­cado. The com­bine added to the drama by rush­ing he­li­copters to two cities to get the “miss­ing MLAs”.

JD(S) pres­i­dent HD Ku­maraswamy was in the af­ter­noon elected leader of its leg­is­la­ture party. Af­ter the de­ci­sion, he dropped a bombshell, claim­ing his “MLAs were be­ing of­fered `100 crore and cab­i­net ranks by the BJP for de­fect­ing.”

Congress’s ALP Bayya­pur, elected MLA from Kush­tagi, said he was "con­tacted by the BJP and asked to switch sides”.

The BJP re­jected the charges. Union min­is­ter Prakash Javadekar termed the ac­cu­sa­tions “imag­i­nary”.


BJP CM-des­ig­nate BS Yed­dyu­rappa at Raj Bha­van in Ben­galuru af­ter meet­ing the gov­er­nor on Wed­nes­day.

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