The two lead architects of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory (unstable) in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah were absent from the swearing-in ceremony of BS Yeddyurappa as new chief minister of the southern state.
Modi, who changed the course of BJP’s electioneering in Karnataka, and Shah, who paved the saffron party’s way to Vidhana Soudha with his untiring rallies and road shows, were earlier expected to take part in the chief minister's oath-taking ceremony.
Sources, however, said that the decision to not attend Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in was taken due to the controversy surrounding the BJP’s government formation in Karnataka.
Also, there was no uncertainty how long the Yeddyurappa government will survive given the fact that the BJP lacked numbers.
So, it is likely that Modi and Shah chose not to be part of the swearing-in ceremony of the chief minister whose future appeared bleak.
Earlier on Thursday, draped in a green shawl over his white safari suit, Yeddyurappa took the oath as Karnataka Chief Minister in the name of God and farmers at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru.
Governor Vajubhai Vala, a former BJP leader who invited Yeddyurappa to form the government even as his lacked majority, administered the oath of secrecy and office.
Both the BJP, which fell short of the majority but emerged as the single largest party in a hung House and the Congress, which stitched a post-poll alliance with the JD-S, had staked claims to form the government in the southern state.
While the Congress-JD-S alliance had the support of more than 112 MLAs, the BJP had only 104 MLAs, eight short of the required numbers to form the government. However, the government invited BJP’s Yeddyurappa and asked him to prove majority on the floor of the house.
The decision to invite Yeddyurappa didn’t go down well with the Congress, which was hoping to keep the BJP out of power in Karnataka by linking up with the JD-S.
The party moved the Supreme Court and filed a joint petition seeking a stay on the swearing-in ceremony. The Supreme Court in a rare pre-dawn hearing, which commenced at 2.11 am and ended at 5.28 am, refused to stay the swearing-in ceremony.
However, the apex court said that the government formation in Karnataka would be subject to the final outcome of the case before it (the writ petition).
Now the ball is in the Supreme Court’s court and it will hear the matter tomorrow (Friday) at 10:30 am.