CM Yediyurappa faces challenge of numbers

CM Yediyurappa faces challenge of numbers

Karnataka BJP stalwart B S Yediyurappa was sworn in as Chief Minister of the sta­te for a fourth time on Friday

Bengaluru : Karnataka BJP stalwart B S Yediyurappa was sworn in as Chief Minister of the sta­te for a fourth time on Friday in a sudden twist to the pr­o­tracted high-voltage political drama in the state wi­t­h a big challenge to manage numbers staring him in the face.

Shortly after taking the oath, Yediyurappa said he would move a motion of confidence in the assembly on July 29 to prove his majority, apparently confident of winning it with the expectation that 16 rebel Congress and JDS MLAs may abstain as they did on Tuesday last, giving him the edge.

Yediyurappa alone took the oath succeeding H D Kumaraswamy three days after the Congress-JDS coalition government crumbled under the weight of a rebellion by a big chunk of its lawmakers, 20 of whom were absent for the voting that led to the defeat of its trust vote by 99-105.

Of the 20, three have been disqualified by the Assembly Speaker Thursday while the lone BSP MLA's stand is not clear.

Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 76-year old Yediyurappa, credited with leading the BJP to its first ever government in the south in 2008, at a brief function in the Raj Bhavan in the evening.

The Lingayat strongman's move to stake claim for the government formation came as a sudden development on Friday morning, a day after assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar disqualified three rebel Congress MLAs, heightening suspense over a new dispensation being in place.

Speaking about the sudden turn of events on government formation, Yediyurappa told BJP workers before the swearing in that party national president and Home Minister Amit Shah spoke over phone to him in the morning and asked him to prepare for the oath on Friday.

His swearing in came after weeks of murky political drama and legal battle triggered by the resignation of 15 rebel Congress and JDS MLAs that led to the fall of the coalition government on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after the swearing in, Yediyurappa said "The Karnataka assembly session will be called on July 29, Monday at 10 AM for moving confidence motion and for the passage of the Finance Bill."

The Congress slammed the move for government formation, saying that since the BJP did not have the numerical strength, it could not stake claim nor take the oath for any reason.

"Corruption Icon and Former Jail Bird Shri @BSYBJP has used his excellent Horse Trading skills to subvert democracy and come to power," the state Congress tweeted.

The JD(S) dubbed the Governor's decision to permit the BJP leader to take oath without raising any questions on the numbers was "anti-democractic".

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