Amid protests by opposition parties, state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa took oath “in the name of God and farmers” as Karnataka’s 23rd chief minister on Thursday morning. Yeddyurappa was sworn in by by Governor Vajubhai Vala.
The swearing-in came after the Supreme Court on Wednesday night refused to put a stay on it, following petitions from post-poll allies Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) who sought an urgent hearing on the matter. On Wednesday, the Congress and JD(S) staked claim before the Governor to form the government in Karnataka with their combined 116 seats, shortly after the BJP approached the Governor with its claim to form the government with 104 seats in the currently 222-member Assembly. This was before the governor invited the BJP, the single largest party with 104 seats but short of the 112-seat majority, to form the government.
The Congress-JD(S) alliance asked the Governor to call them to form the government following a Supreme Court order of March 2017 in the case of the formation of a government in Goa where two parties were invited instead of the single largest party.
The Governor, however, gave the BJP 15 days to prove its majority in the hung Assembly where the Congress has 78 members, the Janata Dal (Secular) 37 members and there are three others, including a BSP member, allied with the JDS.
Late night, the Congress filed a petition before the Supreme Court Registrar challenging the Governor’s decision and seeking an urgent hearing by the Chief Justice of India tonight itself. The top court, however, decided not to stop BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa from being sworn-in as the chief minister of Karnataka at 9 am on Thursday but said his swearing-in would be subject to the outcome of the writ petition.