Yeddyurappa resigns ahead of floor test, Calls it ‘agnipariksha’

RSTV Bureau
Bengaluru: Newly sworn-in Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa arrives at Vidhana Soudha after taking oath at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru, May 17, 2018. PTI

Bengaluru: Newly sworn-in Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa arrives at Vidhana Soudha after taking oath at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru, May 17, 2018.
PTI

BJP leader and Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa resigned after an emotional speech admitting BJP failed to muster numbers. The floor test was slated to be held at 4 PM in the assembly amid a massive jostling between the two sides – BJP and Congress-JD(S) combine.

“I resign as Chief Minister… I will not bow for power,” said BS Yeddyurappa before leaving for Raj Bhavan.

He also accused the Congress-JDS combine of forming an ‘opportunistic’ alliance and said the popular mandate had been subverted due to their ‘conspiracy.’

“People have rejected both Congress and JDS by giving them lesser seats than BJP (individually)… The leaders who swore at each other are together again. Siddaramaiah had earlier said that Kumaraswamy will never be the Chief Minister,” he said in his speech.

“You kept MLAs in captivity. The situation of those MLAs was so pitiable that they could not speak to their families on phone,” he said in his speech after moving the motion of confidence to face the trial of strength.

Targeting the JDS, which is in all likelihood of forming next government with Congress, Yeddyurappa said, “JDS has joined hands against the people’s mandate…”

During his short speech, which sounded like a farewell speech, he said he wanted to waive off farm loans so that lakhs of farmers could have food.

“This is an ‘agnipariksha’… I have seen such ‘agnipariksha’ throughout my life… Just think for a moment if people had given us 113 seats… Probably god will give us that chance…,” he said.

The floor test was ordered by Supreme Court on Friday, advancing it by 13 days after governor had given Yeddyurappa 15 days to prove his numbers. A special session of the Karnataka Assembly began this morning.

Bengaluru: BS Yediyurappa addressing the house members before a floor test, at Vidhanasoudha, in Bengaluru, May 19, 2018. PTI

Bengaluru: BS Yediyurappa addressing the house members before a floor test, at Vidhanasoudha, in Bengaluru, May 19, 2018.
PTI

Yeddyurappa was sworn-in as Chief Minister by Governor Vajubhai Vala after the BJP was invited to form the government given their status as a single largest party with 104 MLAs in a current 222-member house.

The move was strongly opposed by the Congress and JD(S) combine, who challenged it in Supreme Court claiming their collective strength of 116 legislators that is well above the majority mark of 112.

The bench of Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan had said that ultimately the question is about majority which has to be proved in the floor test. The Supreme Court also turned down Yeddyurappa’s request for a secret ballot during the floor test.

Earlier, Congress and JD(S) MLAs who were camping at a hotel in Hyderabad, fearing alleged attempts of poaching by the BJP, came back to the city this morning. As per the apex court’s directions, the police had made massive security arrangements in and around the Vidhana Soudha.

Public entry to the Vidhana Soudha is also been restricted, and officials and staff of the Secretariat are being allowed to enter the premises after thorough checks.

The Congress-JD(S) had also challenged the appointment of BJP MLA KG Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker contending that the governor’s action in appointing “a junior MLA” was “brazenly unconstitutional”.

The plea was, however, rejected by the top court. The court has ordered live telecast of floor test.