In a surprising turn of events, Karnataka’s new chief minister BS Yeddyurappa announced his decision to resign on Saturday without facing the floor test in the Assembly. He later handed in his resignation to state Governor Vajubhai Vala. Yeddyurappa’s stepping down paved the way for the JD(S) and Congress to be invited by the Governor to form a government in the state. On Saturday evening, HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) met Governor Vajubhai Vala and staked claim to form the government. He also said that his oath-taking ceremony will take place on Monday, May 21, but the date was later shifted as it coincided with the death anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. It has now been rescheduled for Wednesday, May 23. Kumaraswamy also added that various members of the Opposition, including Mayawati, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav, among others have been invited for the ceremony.
With Yeddyurappa stepping down, the JD(S) and Congress have a clear path ahead to form the government. Follow LIVE Updates here:
Yeddyurappa announced his wish to put in his papers after the BJP failed to get the numbers it needed to cross the majority mark in the House. In an emotional address to the Assembly, he said, "If only people would have given us 113 seats instead of 104, we would have made this state a paradise." He also criticised Congress and the JD(S) for their "unholy" alliance.
The Congress and BJP, meanwhile, traded barbs in New Delhi. Congress president Rahul Gandhi criticised the joint leadership of PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. He also slammed the BJP MLAs of showing disrespect by exiting the Karnataka Assembly before the national anthem. He said that his party would try to collect a scattered Opposition so as to defeat the BJP in the general elections next year.
BJP leader Prakash Javadekar launched an attack on the Congress party a few minutes after Rahul Gandhi spoke to the media. Javadekar slammed Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam's remarks towards the Karnataka Governor, saying, "Congress does not respect institutions and this statement is just an evidence of that. Is this how they show respect towards the post of the Governor."