History has repeated itself once again in Karnataka as BS Yeddyurappa, who was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of the state on May 17, stepped down right after he made a speech on the floor of the Assembly, and withdrew his motion for a trust vote.
The two-day CM arrived at the Vidhana Soudha as the Assembly reconvened at 3:30 pm. Yeddyurappa then stood up to deliver a half-hour long speech, which culminated with him resigning from his post as Chief Minister.
Yeddyurappa declared that even if he cannot rule, he will serve the people of the state till his last breath.
"Since 2016, I have been the chief of party in state. And both PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah have said I will be CM. As you know, constantly for the last year, I have travelled through the state and understood problems in each and every constituency," said Yeddyurappa in his speech. "The state has given me a lot of love and affection and support for this fight and gave us 104 seats in Vidhana Soudha."
He then thanked the people for giving their mandate to the BJP, and accused the Congress and JD(S) of acting against the interests of democracy.
"In a democracy, the important thing is not who got how many seats. What is important is what the people want," an emotional Yeddyurappa added.
He also took the opportunity to lash out at the Congress, accusing the party of not serving the farmers, Backward Classes or minorities.
Yeddyurappa added, "There have been several agni parikshas in my life. This is not new for me..."
The BJP, which had won 104 seats in Karnataka was invited by Governor Vajubhai Vala to form the government in the state; however, the deadline given by the Governor was reduced by the Supreme Court on Friday and Yeddyurappa had to prove his majority on the floor of the House at 4pm on Saturday.
However, according to highly placed sources in the BJP, Yeddyurappa was certain that he would not win the trust vote. And instead of facing humilation on the floor of the Assembly, the two-day CM decided to resign in a repeat of 2007.
At two days, this will make it Yeddyurappa’s shortest tenure in office. In 2007, he was sworn in as Chief Minister but was forced to step down after a week, after his then ally JD(S), pulled out from the government. On that occasion as well, Yeddyurappa chose to resign ahead of the floor test.
On Saturday, MLA-elects in Karnataka took oath in Vidhana Soudha amidst high drama at the Gold Finch hotel in Bengaluru, where the two 'missing' Congress MLAs Anand Singh and Pratap Gouda Patil were holed up. Along with them, even BJP's Somashekara Reddy was inside the hotel. Several top police officials from Karnataka reached the hotel as the Congress alleged that their two MLA-elects were being held hostage by the BJP.
Earlier in the day, in one recorded phone call released by the Congress, CM Yeddyurappa was allegedly trying to lure Congress MLA BC Patil. The Congress MLA from Hirekerur recorded the call, according to the party. In the call, Yeddyurappa is allegedly heard saying, “Come back, we’ll make you a Minister and help you in whatever way you want.” In response, BC Patil is heard asking what ministry he would get, and if 3 other MLAs along with him will also get a position. The call ends with Patil promising Yeddyurappa to call him back in five minutes and tell him his decision, to which BSY allegedly asks him to call Sriramulu and tell.
Of the 224-seat state Assembly, only 222 seats went to poll, following charges of electoral corruption in one seat and the sudden death of a senior candidate in another. HD Kumaraswamy contested and won from two seats, and KG Bopaiah was given oath by the Governor before he was appointed as the pro tem Speaker on Friday, which was also seen as a controversial decision.
The Congress and JD(S) had challenged this decision in the Supreme Court and the case was heard on Saturday morning. However, the apex court held that Bopaiah's appointment was valid; at the same time, the court gave direction for the trust vote to be telecast live in order to ensure transparency.
After camping in Hyderabad on Friday, the MLAs belonging to the Congress and the JD(S) reached Bengaluru on Saturday morning. They had left Hyderabad on Friday night. MLA elects of the two parties, along with their leaders, left in five luxury buses, accompanied by a large number of vehicles of Congress leaders of Telangana. Amid tight security, the long convoy left the two hotels after 10:30 pm. While the JD(S) MLAs checked into Le Meridian, the Congress MLAs reached Hotel Hilton in the city. The MLA elects arrived in Hyderabad early in the day after the night-long journey and checked in into the two star-hotels.
With the Supreme Court on Friday directing the new BJP government in Karnataka to prove its majority on the floor of the Assembly on Saturday, the legislators of the two parties left for Bengaluru by road.