HD Kumaraswamy, who took oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka on Wednesday, cemented his position as the leader of a coalition government for the second time in his career. All the BJP MLAs staged a walkout after BS Yeddyurappa challenged Kumaraswamy to waive farmer loans by Monday. He added that the party would stage a statewide protest if CM Kumaraswamy did not deliver on this promise.
Kumaraswamy, who will lead the Congress-JD(S) government, passed the floor easily, with 36 of his party MLAs, 1 BSP MLA - a pre-poll ally of the JD(S) - and 78 Congress MLAs voting for him through voice vote.
Moving motion of confidence of the House, Kumaraswamy said, "The Opposition feels that people has given them the mandate but the Congress-JD(S) alliance has the majority. I am trying to understand what the Opposition is saying. The Opposition Leader had been invited by the governor to form a government after BJP declared it was the single largest party. Now the governor has invited me to form the government because the opposition was not able to prove majority."
He added, "I would like to thank Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara, Gulam Nabi Azad, DK Shivakumar for offering to form a govt under my leadership. I would like to tell the people of the state that I did not take up this post to satify my personal needs but to serve the people."
He continued, "Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister had said that he would not let any other party but the BJP form a government in Karnataka. Today, that has proven to be false. When a Prime Minister makes such statements, a fear arises, one which may affect democracy. Hence, certain steps needed too be taken."
"I met the Congress leaders and decided to align with them and form a government. The Opposition had, in the past claimed the Governors of different states had given the single largest party the opportunity to form the government. But look at Goa, there the BJP was not the single largest party and yet they were given the opportunity to form a government," Kumaraswamy argued.
Kumaraswamy further added, "The Leader of the Opposition had spoken as if we had locked up our MLAs, without letting them speak to their families. If you look at 2006, what had happened, those sitting on the other side had done the same thing to safeguard their MLAs. I had aligned with the BJP and had caused immense pain to my father. That pain has not left me. In order to save my party from collapsing, I had aligned with the BJP. "
Yeddyurappa then addressed the House: "Today he's saying my father did not like it (JD(s) alliance with BJP). That he is repenting today. But if that day, I hadn't tied up with him, touch your heart and tell me - where would you have been today?"he asked, adding,"From today, our fight is not against the Congress or any Congress leader. Our fight is against the corrupt father-and-son company."
"Someone who is close to Sonia and Rahul is being relegated to a corner. When we (BJP) withdrew the motion for a trust vote, all your leaders held hands. Where was Siddaramaiah then?" he asked, adding, "From today, our fight is not against the Congress or any Congress leader. Our fight is against the corrupt father-and-son company."
"If Kumaraswamy does not waive off farmer loans, then, the BJP would stage a statewide bandh on Monday," he said, following which, all the BJP MLAs left the floor of the House and refrained from voting in the trust vote.
Kumaraswamy is the 25th Chief Minister of the state after being sworn-in on Wednesday.
With the strength of the House at 220 now, the combine needed the support of 111 MLAs to prove majority, which the alliance was easily able to prove.
The floor test was preceded by the unanimous election of Ramesh Kumar, former Health Minister in the previous Congress government, as the Speaker. BJPâ€™s Suresh Kumar who was BJPâ€™s choice of Speaker withdrew his candidature for the post ahead of the vote.
Following his election, both the CM Kumaraswamy, Leader of Opposition BS Yeddyurappa and other leaders across party lines welcomed the Speaker.
Ramesh Kumar's name was proposed by former CM Siddaramaiah, and seconded by G Parameshwara, who took oath as the Deputy CM.
Fridayâ€™s proceedings also ended the political uncertainty that Karnataka was facing since May 15, the day the results of the Assembly polls were announced. No party got a simple majority, with BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats.
In a controversial move, Governor Vajubhai Vala had sworn-in BJPâ€™s legislature party leader BS Yeddyurappa as the CM, despite the party lacking a majority.
Incidentally, the Congress has filed a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau against Yeddyurappa, B Sriramulu and other top leaders for allegedly wooing Congress MLAs with money and ministerial berths, handing over five audio tapes, which it had earlier released to the media, as proof.
With an imminent defeat staring at his face, Yeddyurappa resigned before the floor test scheduled on May 19.
Elections at the RR Nagar seat in Bengaluru was postponed after a large-scale seizure of voter ID cards from an apartment in the locality, which the Chief Election Commissioner called a prima facie atteMLAt of â€ścash for votesâ€ť.
At Jayanagar, elections were countermanded after sitting BJP MLA and candidate BN Vijayakumar died of a heart attack after the date of notification.
Both the seats will go for elections on May 28 and June 11 respectively.
Kumaraswamy, who had won from both Channapatna and Ramanagara, chose to give up the Ramanagara seat, which will go for bye-polls.