Karnataka: Kumaraswamy clears the air on rotational CM pact with Congress

JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy speaks to media after meeting with Governor Vajubhai Vala in Bengaluru on Saturday. BJP leader B S Yediyurappa submited his resignation before the floor test
Karnataka poll result: In an anti-climax to the hectic political developments since the split verdict on May 12 Karnataka Assembly polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost power in Karnataka as Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa resigned on Saturday before the trust vote, as he did not have the numbers to prove his majority. His resignation paved the way for the formation of a Congress-Janata Dal(Secular) government headed by H D Kumaraswamy, who has been invited to form a government and will be sworn-in on Monday.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the trust vote, saying he would have learnt lessons from Yeddyurappa having been forced to resign as the Karnataka Chief Minister two days after he was sworn in.

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

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.

A little ahead of the appointed time of trust vote at 4 pm on Saturday, Yeddyurappa made an emotional speech, saying the BJP didn't get the numbers needed to prove majority in the House. 

Expressing confidence of the BJP winning in all the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies from the state in the 2019 general elections, Yeddyurappa said the party would also win in 150 of the 224-member state assembly in the next elections.

He then announced his resignation and drove to Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala.

In Delhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi launched a stinging attack on Modi stating that "PM is corruption" and there was no institution "worthy of respect of the Prime Minister, Amit Shah and the RSS".

After a favourable verdict on their petition from the Supreme Court over the Governor's decision early on Wednesday, which was given a rare late-night hearing, the Congress and the JD(S) had again moved the apex court on Friday seeking ouster of K G Bopaiah as pro-tem Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly.

However, as the Karnataka government informed about the live telecast of the floor test proceedings to ascertain the majority support to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, the petitioners on Saturday decided not to press their plea against the pro-tem Speaker.

The May 12 election across the state in 222 constituencies out of total 224 threw up a hung House, with no party securing the majority. Polls in two constituencies were deferred.

Of the 222 seats, the BJP won 104, Congress 78, Janata Dal-Secular 37, and one each was bagged by the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party, and an Independent.

Here are the top 10 highlights of Karnataka poll result:

1. Modi should order
probe into BJP's bid for horse-trading in Karnataka, says CongressThe Congress on Sunday launched a scathing attack on the BJP for allegedly attempting horse-trading in Karnataka and demanded that Narendra Modi order a probe into efforts made by his party leaders to bribe and induce Congress and JD(S) legislators ahead of Saturday's trust vote.

"We hope the prime minister will order an investigation into the naked dance of corruption which his party MLAs were indulging in...The prime minister should prove his commitment to fighting corruption by launching an investigation into those MLAs who openly called Congress and JD(S) MLAs and offered bribes with an intention to break the rock-solid coalition of the Congress and the JD(S)," Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said, according to PTI.

Claiming that the government had looted the country of Rs 10 trillion (Rs 10 lakh crore) by raising excise duty on diesel and petrol, Shergill said the "loot" was used to poach MLAs in Karnataka.

Shergill also took a dig at the central government over the spiralling prices of petroleum products, saying the benefit that the government extended to the people by not raising the prices during the Karnataka elections, should be extended throughout the year so that people get "all year-round relief from it".

2. Congress-JD(S) to meet today ahead of Kumaraswamy's oath ceremony: With H D Kumaraswamy all set to take oath as the Karnataka Chief Minister on May 23, leaders from the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) will be meeting today to discuss the future of the alliance in the state assembly. The Congress will chalk out its strategy and the power-sharing arrangement with the JD(S).

"Yes, tomorrow morning I'm going to Delhi, I'll meet Rahul Gandhi & Sonia Gandhi. Just 24 hours after the oath, I'll prove the majority," said H D Kumaraswamy, reported ANI.

Karnataka CM designate Kumaraswamy has said that the post of chief minister will not be on a rotational sharing basis between Congress and JD(S), according to NDTV. However, the deputy CM shall be from Congress. 

The elected MLAs from both the parties are expected to attend the meeting.

On Saturday, Kumaraswamy was invited by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R Vala to form the government in the state, after Yeddyurappa stepped down ahead of the floor test in the state assembly.

After a meeting with Congress leaders yesterday, Kumaraswamy said they also discussed about moving the confidence of motion on May 24.

He said he would meet Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on May 21 to extend his gratitude to them. "I will also discuss how many Congress and JD(S) MLAs will become ministers," said Kumaraswamy.

He said a coordination committee would be formed to prepare a common minimum programme to implement the promises made by the two coalition partners.

Kumaraswamy said there were no other discussions with the coalition partners other than winning the confidence vote.

3. Kumaraswamy to swear-in as Karnataka CM on Wednesday: While Kumaraswamy was earlier expected to swear-in as Karnataka Chief Minister on May 21, the ceremony later got pushed to May 23 due to the death anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. ALSO READ: Rajiv Gandhi's death anniversary postpones Kumaraswamy's swearing-in

"We are going to take oath on Wednesday as Monday is Rajiv Gandhi's death anniversary. That is not a proper date. In the entire country, all the Congress workers will be attending death anniversary functions. Conducting oath taking ceremony at that time is not good. In the today's meeting we discussed about this only. On Monday, we will discuss about the oath ceremony," Kumaraswamy told ANI. Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide bombing in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, in 1991.

"West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, and Telangana Chief Minister K C Rao congratulated me. Mayawati ji has also blessed me. I have invited all regional leaders for oath ceremony. I've also invited Sonia Gandhi ji and Rahul Gandhi ji personally," he said after meeting the Karnataka Governor, according to news agency ANI.

Gets 15 days to prove majority: Governor Vala invited Congress-JD(S) combine and gave it 15 days to prove majority. Asked by when he will prove majority, Kumaraswamy said, "As soon as possible we will call the assembly session to prove majority... though Governor has given 15 days, we will not require that much time."

Expressing apprehension that the BJP would again indulge in "operation Kamala (poaching on MLAs)", he said: "I'm aware of it that they will create problem. JD(S) and Congress leaders will take all precautionary measures for it."

The third son of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda had earlier headed the BJP-JD(S) coalition government for twenty months from January 2006. 

4. Giving 15 days to BJP to prove majority was mockery of democracy, says RajnikanthActor-turned-politician Rajinikanth on Sunday hailed the turn of events in the Karnataka assembly, terming them a "win for democracy".

He also criticised the 15-day time given to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala to prove majority on the floor of the house as "mockery of democracy."

"What happened in Karnataka yesterday was a win for democracy. BJP asking for some more time and Governor giving 15 days time was a mockery of democracy. I would like to thank Supreme Court for its order, which upheld the democracy," Rajinikanth said, reported ANI.

What happened in #Karnataka yesterday was a win for democracy. BJP asking for some more time & Governor giving 15 days time was a mockery of democracy. I would like to thank Supreme Court for its order, which upheld the democracy: Rajinikanth in Chennai. pic.twitter.com/n7TEHIsGtJ

— ANI (@ANI) May 20, 2018


Further, on contesting elections in 2019, the Tamil superstar said the decision will be taken after the elections are announced.

5. Facing defeat, Yeddyurappa quits without a trust vote: The three-day-old BJP government in Karnataka collapsed on Saturday, minutes before the scheduled trust vote, with Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa resigning in a tame anticlimax to what promised to be on the edge of seat political thriller.

With defeat staring him in the face, Yeddyurappa announced his decision to quit on the floor of the Assembly after a brief emotion-laden speech.

Though Yeddyurappa kept exuding confidence about winning the trust vote, as the D-day loomed he failed to muster the support of 7 additional MLAs required to ensure the longevity of his government.

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.

Asserting that the mandate showed that the state's people have rejected the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), he said: "People have voted against the Congress' misgovernance. I have faced many 'agni pareeksha' (trial by fire) in the past and this trust vote is just another one."

The 75-year-old Lingayat stalwart's resignation will pave the way for formation of a government led by JD(S) state chief Kumaraswamy, who has the backing of the Congress. 

6. Rahul's new theory is to see victory in defeats, says Amit Shah: BJP President Amit Shah on Saturday hit out at Congress President Rahul Gandhi for celebrating B.S. Yeddyurappa's resignation in Karnataka as a "victory", saying the mandate was to get rid of Siddaramaiah and claimed that such coalition will not last long.

"If someone is seeing its victory in defeat, than who can stop him. The BJP has already won the Karnataka elections and the people of the state have clearly given their mandate to get rid of Congress," he said at a programme of India TV.

He said that Gandhi has started a new tradition of celebration even after party's defeat.

"He (Gandhi) has propounded a new theory that how to see a win even if his party is defeated. They won in nine Lok Sabha by-polls and they celebrate it as their victory but why they forget that we have snatched 11 states from them," he said.

The BJP chief said that the BJP will not make any efforts to topple the government in Karnataka.

7. BJP should resign from Goa, other states too, says Congress: The Congress party on Saturday lashed out at BJP, following the political drama in Karnataka and said if BJP government has any shame then they should resign from Goa and also from other states.

"Just like what happened in Karnataka, if BJP government has any shame then they should forthwith resign from Goa and also from the other states from where they have stolen the majority," Goa Congress spokesperson Yatish Naik said at a press conference here.

Congress' statement comes hours after former Member of Indian Parliament (MP) Sanjay Nirupam drew a parallel between Governor Vala and the loyalty of dogs. Nirupam had said, "Vajubhai Vala ji has established a new record of loyalty in this country. Perhaps, every man in this country will now name their dogs as Vajubhai Vala, because nobody can be more loyal than this."

8. JD(S) says its rise may act as platform to unite Opposition parties: The rise of Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka may act as a platform to unite opposition parties, especially the regional parties to play a bigger role in the national arena during parliamentary elections in 2019, JD(S) has indicated.

JD(S) spokesperson Ramesh Babu told PTI, "The national political scenario favours the regional parties today... Congress party's tie-up with regional parties in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and now in Karnataka indicate that the regional parties will take a centre stage in the national politics. They will all come in one platform."

Babu said the right time has arrived for the secular forces to unite due to the "undeclared emergency" in the country.

"It is the attitude of the central government, which made it inevitable for the regional parties to unite the secular forces and fight against BJP and save democracy. For that, Karnataka will lead. We will see to it that regional parties play a vital role in 2019 elections," Babu said.

9. Modi is corruption, hope BJP learnt lessons from Karnataka, says Rahul Gandhi: In a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the resignation of Yeddyurappa ahead of the trust vote, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday termed him "corruption" and that Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and the RSS considered no institution "worthy of respect".

Addressing the media in New Delhi shortly after Yeddyurappa's resignation, he said the Congress will work with other opposition parties to defeat the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Gandhi said Modi's model of leadership is not that of democratic person but that of a dictator and "even Supreme Court knows that".

Accusing Modi of promoting corruption in Karnataka to gain support for the BJP, which had emerged the single-largest party amid split verdict in by the May 12 assembly election, he cited attempts at horse-trading, including purported telephonic conversations of some BJP leaders to get support of Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) legislators, who formed a post-poll coalition.

10. Parties attack BJP, say it should take lessons from Karnataka episode: The Congress and several other parties on Saturday hit out at the BJP, claiming all attempts to use money and muscle power failed in Karnataka and asked the saffron party to take lessons from the episode. 

Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Banerjee termed it as a "victory of the regional front" and of democracy.

The BJP, however, put up a brave face with Union minister Prakash Javadekar saying the party knows how to "respect democracy" and the Congress was treating an electoral defeat as a victory.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar claimed that the new government would not last long as it was an "unholy nexus."

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said the use of money power and state machinery is not always helpful, as she asked the BJP to take lessons from the fall of its government in Karnataka.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav termed the collapse of the Yeddyurappa government as a "victory of the people's mandate" and asked the central government to resign on moral grounds.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav also took to Twitter, saying, "Truth can never be defeated! Truth will always defeat a lie or liar!."

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that BJP's attempt to "subvert democracy" in Karnataka "failed miserably".

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel