BJP legislature party leader BS Yeddyurappa took oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka after Governor Vajubhai Vala late on Wednesday invited him to form the government amid steep questions raised by the Congress-JDS combine which claimed the support of 116 MLAs, well above majority mark of 112 in the current 222-member house.
BJP, which has 104 MLAs including BS Yeddyurappa, has been claiming to prove majority since the results threw up fractured mandate on Tuesday.
“I invite you (Yeddyurappa) to form the government and be sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka,” a Raj Bhavan communique had said on Tuesday.
Governor Vala also asked 75-year-old Yeddyurappa to seek a vote of confidence within 15 days of assuming office as the chief minister.
After assuming office Yeddyurappa announced farm loan waiver of upto one lakh rupees in his first decision. This was a poll promise of the BJP. He also said he would prove majority and that the BJP is in touch with like minded MLAs of the Congress and the JDS.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah did not attend the ceremony.
The developments has evoked strong response from the Congress party which moved Supreme Court in an extraordinary late night hearing against the Governor’s invite to BJP.
Yeddyurappa and HD Kumaraswamy, the leader of the newly formed JD(S)-Congress alliance had earlier met Vala and staked claim to form the government.
With 104 MLAs in the 224-member Assembly, the BJP is the single largest party, while the JD(S)-Congress coalition, formed after the election results were declared, has 116 legislators. It has also claimed support of an independent MLA.
With there being precedents of both governors inviting either the leader of the single largest party or that of a post-poll coalition to form the government, Vala, a former RSS-BJP veteran from Gujarat, opted for the former.
Earlier in the day, Kumaraswamy claimed the BJP had offered his MLAs Rs 100 crore and ministerial berths to break ranks. But the allegations were promptly dismissed by the BJP, with Union minister Prakash Javadekar dubbing them as “imaginary”.
(With inputs from PTI)