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Karnataka: Amid bitter power tussle, Yeddyurappa sworn in as chief minister

The Week 2018-05-17 09:27:31

Amid a high-voltage drama and race for power in Karnataka, BJP leader B.S Yeddyurappa was sworn in on Thursday as the 23rd chief minister of the state. The swearing-in came a few hours after the Supreme Court refused to issue a stay order on a petition filed by the Congress-JD(S) combine.

Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office to Yeddyurappa at 9 am in the 'Glass House' of Raj Bhavan amid tight security.

Yeddyurappa took oath in the name of farmers, in an apparent attempt to take a dig at Congress over the farnmers' suicide in the state in the last five years. This is the third time Yeddyurappa is taking oath as the chief minister. Born on February 27, 1943, the BJP leader will succeed Congress leader Siddaramaiah. 

Earlier on Wednesday night, the Congress-JD (S) combine made a last-ditch attempt to stall the saffron party's surge in the southern state by challenging Governor Vajubhai R. Vala's decision to invite BJP to form government in the Supreme Court.

The saffron party, with 105 MLAs, including one Independent MLA, is seven short of the halfway mark of 112. The Congress was reduced to 78 seats in the 224-member house while JD(S) managed to win 37 seats.

The first twist in the race for power came on Tuesday when Congress extended an unconditional support to the JD(S) even before three-fourth of the results were announced. 

The Supreme Court, which commenced the hearing at 2.11 am on Thursday and ended at 5.28 am, refused to issue a stay order, but made it clear that the swearing-in and the government formation in the state would be subject to the final outcome of the case before it. The top court will hear the matter again on Friday at 10.30 am.

Governor Vala, while inviting the BJP to form the government, has given the saffron party 15 days to prove its majority in the state assembly. The governor reportedly took the decision after consulting with former attorney general Mukul Rohtagi.

Reacting to the development, the Congress had claimed that the governor did not follow the rule book while inviting the BJP to form the government. The party said the governor denigrated his office, trampled the Constitution and acted as a BJP puppet. They contended that they, with a total strength of 115 MLAs, are in a better position to form the government.

Meanwhile, the state is witnessing again the 'resort politics' with reports claiming that Congress has taken all its MLAs to the Eagleton resort in Bengaluru and will make them stay there to prevent possible poaching attempts from the BJP. Reports claim that the BJP is also planning to shift its MLAs to a resort.