Bharatiya Janata Party’s BS Yeddyurappa on Saturday gave up his hunger for power and resigned from the post of Chief Minister just before facing the floor test.
Yeddyurappa, who was invited to form the government in Karnataka by Governor Vajubhai Vala even as his party lacked the majority, remained CM for just two and half days.
The Karnataka Assembly elections, which were held on May 12, gave a fractured mandate with the BJP emerging as the single largest party but falling short of simple majority.
As soon as the trends projected the BJP single largest party, the Congress offered unconditional support to the JD-S and stitched an alliance to keep the saffron party out of the power.
However, the Governor turned the Karnataka’s “game of throne” into BJP’s favour by inviting Yeddyurappa despite the Congress-JD-S coalition staking claim to form the government in the state.
However, the Congress knocked the Supreme Court door against the “encounter of democracy” by the Karnataka Governor.
The Supreme Court in a rare pre-dawn hearing refused to stay BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in ceremony as Karnataka Chief Minister but reduced his time to prove the majority to 24 hours from 15 days.
The Congress-JD-S alliance made the BJP taste its own medicine and snatched the victory from the jaws of defeat as Yeddyurappa failed to arrange the numbers and resigned from the post of Chief Minister just before the floor test.
Here is how things unfolded in Karnataka: A timeline of events
May 12: Karnataka comes out to vote: Elections on 222 seats of the 224-member Assembly were held in Karnataka. The southern state recorded the 72.13 per cent voter turnout, highest since the 1952 state polls.
May 15: Results for Karnataka Assembly elections announced: The Karnataka Assembly election results were announced. The BJP emerged as the single largest party with 104 members. The Congress with 78 and the JD-S with 37 MLAs stitched an alliance. Both the BJP and the Congress-JD-S coalition met Governor Vajubhai Vala and staked claims to form the government.
May 16, 08:00 PM: Rumours of BJP forming the government: BJP MLA Suresh Kumar tweeted that the Governor had invited the BJP to form the government. At 8.31 pm, Karnataka BJP’s official Twitter handle put out a tweet, confirming Yeddyurappa’s oath-taking ceremony. However, both the tweets were deleted minutes later. Earlier in the day, both the BJP and the Congress-JD(S) alliance had staked claims to form the government.
May 16, 08:30 PM: Congress cries foul: Terming Karnataka Governor’s decision to invite Yeddyurappa to form the government “tantamount to murdering democracy, trampling Constitution & disregarding all precedents”, Congress held a press conference. Senior Congress leaders P Chidambaram said that the Governor was walking on a perilous path which was illegal.
May 16, 09:30: Governor Valubhai Vala’s formal invitation letter released: All the speculations ended after Governor Valubhai Vala’s formal invitation letter to Yeddyurappa released on Wednesday night. In the letter to Yeddyurappa, Governor said, “I am in receipt of your letter dated 16th May 2018 informing me that you have been elected as the leader of the BJP legislative party of Karnataka. I am also in receipt of your letter dated 15th May 2018 staking claim to form the government. I invite you to form the government and be sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka.’’ The Governor also gave 15 days’ time to Yeddyurappa to prove majority on the floor of the house.
May 16, 11:15 PM: Congress knocks Supreme Court’s door: After the invite became official, the Congress accused the Karnataka Governor of “being biased” and moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the swearing-in ceremony. The apex court refused to stay the swearing-in ceremony but said that the government formation in Karnataka would be subject to the final outcome of the case before it. The Court, however, decided not to stay Yeddyurappa’s oath-taking ceremony.
May 17: Yeddyurappa swearing-in: After the Governor’s invitation, BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa took oath as new Karnataka Chief Minister. PM Modi, Amit Shah didn’t attend the oath-taking ceremony.
May 18: Supreme Court orders floor test in 24 hours: Hearing the Congress’ plea, Supreme Court ordered floor test at 4 pm on May 19. Earlier, Yeddyurappa was given 15 days time to prove majority.
May 18, 10:30 PM: Congress again moves Supreme Court: Congress-JD-S coalition again moved the Supreme Court against the Governor’s decision to appoint BJP MLA KG Bopaiah as pro tem speaker to conduct the floor test. SC said it will hear the plea on May 19.
May 19: Supreme Court orders live telecast of floor test: The apex court reject Congress’ plea challenging Bopaiah’s appointment as pro tem speaker but ordered live telecast of the floor test to ensure transparency in the trust vote.
May 19, 04:00 PM: Yeddyurappa quits: Yeddyurappa announced his decision to step down without facing the trust vote.