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Karnataka Election 2018

JD(S) MLAs being offered Rs 100 crore each by BJP

News Desk



JD(S) Karnataka unit chief H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday alleged that the BJP was trying to poach his party’s lawmakers by offering them Rs 100 crore and the lure of a cabinet post in the state government.

“JD(S) MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each. Where is this black money coming from? They are supposedly the servers of poor people and they are offering money today. Where are the income tax officials?” Kumaraswamy said.

He added that he was not making his claim “loosely”.

Kumaraswamy, being billed as the next chief minister of Karnataka by the JD(S)-Congress combine, said that if the BJP attempted a reprise of ‘Operation Kamal’ to power its way to a majority, it would have to suffer the consequences.

Karnataka has 224 assembly seats but voting was held for 222. The halfway mark then is 111, with a party needing 112 seats for a simple majority. The BJP is short by 8 seats, while the JD(S)-Congress combine (including the BSP) has 116 seats.

Karnataka Election 2018

‘It’s true I spoke to them,’ says Yeddyurappa as he admits he asked opposition MLAs to cross-vote

News Desk



In a heart-wrenching speech before stepping down as CM, BS Yeddyurappa today accused the Congress and JDS of  combining and forming an “opportunistic” alliance. He also said that the popular opinion had been subverted due to their “conspiracy”.

To realize the public mandate and with development in mind, he said he asked members for the vote of conscience. “It is true that I had spoken to a few of them (in the opposition),” Yeddyurappa said.

Emphasizing on the BJP’s belief of a democratic system, he said he had hoped that MLAs ‘on the other side’ would keep in mind today’s political situation and understand that things would be completely different if his government came to power when the Modi government is at the Centre. “Some people had agreed to cooperate,” he said.

He, however, added, “who am I to question in politics? Expectation is different, there may be differences.” Assuring people that ’till his last breath’, he will travel across Karnataka and look into the development. He even promised to ensure that the party will win all 28 seats of the state in the Lok Sabha elections next year as he plans to “give it as a gift to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Yeddyurappa, who announced his decision without facing the trust vote after not being able to gather the numbers, charged that the JDS-combine had kept the MLAs in captivity. “You kept MLAs in captivity. The situation of those MLAs was so pitiable that they could not speak to their families on phone,” he said in his speech. He taunted both the allied parties by stating that at least their family members would be happy to see them after days of forced captivity.

Governor Vajubhai Vala had given a 15-day window to Yeddyurappa to prove his strength, but it was refuted by the Supreme Court, which ordered that the floor test be held within 24 hours. Yeddyurappa’s main defence was that the Congress did not get people’s mandate, nor did the JDS.

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Karnataka Election 2018

Facing defeat, Yeddyurappa quits; Kumaraswamy to be sworn-in on Wednesday




The three-day-old BJP government in Karnataka collapsed today, minutes before the scheduled trust vote, with Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa resigning in a tame anticlimax to what promised to be on the edge of seat political thriller.

With defeat staring him in the face, Yeddyurappa announced his decision to quit on the floor of the Assembly after a brief emotion-laden speech.

Hours later, H D Kumaraswamy, the chief ministerial candidate of the newly formed JS(S)-Congress-BSP alliance, met Governor Vajubhai Vala, and said he has been invited to form the government.

“Today, the BJP government failed to show their strength in the House. On that basis governor invited me to form the next government,” Kumaraswamy told journalists.

The 58-year-old leader, son of JD(S) supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, said the governor gave him 15 days to prove his majority, but asserted “we don’t need 15 days”.

After meeting the governor, Kumaraswamy had said the swearing-in ceremony would take place tentatively between 12 and 1.50 pm at Kanteerava stadium on May 21.

However, Kumaraswamy later in the evening said the swearing-in would be held on May 23 as May 21 happens to be the death anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, and therefore it would not be appropriate to hold the ceremony on that date.

Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide bombing in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, in 1991.

Though Yeddyurappa kept exuding confidence about winning the trust vote, as the D-day loomed he failed to muster support of 7 additional MLAs required to ensure the longevity of his government.

“I am going to resign as chief minister… I will go to Raj Bhavan and submit my resignation.

“I will not face confidence vote… I am going to resign,” he told the Assembly at the end of a brief emotional speech, and headed straight to the Raj Bhavan where he handed over his resignation to Governor Vala.

The 75-year-old Lingayat stalwart’s resignation will pave the way for formation of a government led by JD(S) state chief Kumaraswamy, who has the backing of the Congress.

The newly-formed alliance has claimed support of 117 MLAs in the 224-member House with an effective strength of 221.

The political instability in the state stemmed from a split verdict the electorate gave on May 15, with the BJP emerging as the single-largest party but falling short of a majority.

The Congress, which finished second with 78 seats, moved swiftly and stitched an alliance with 37-member JD(S), and even backed its leader H D Kumaraswamy for chief ministership, plunging the state into a welter of confusion, with accusations of bribery and poaching flying thick and fast.

Amid allegations of poaching attempts by the BJP, the Congress herded its MLAs at a resort outside Bengaluru, while those of the JD(S) hunkered down in a hotel in the state capital.

They were later shifted to a hotel in Hyderabad and returned only after the Supreme Court yesterday ordered a floor test on a Congress-JD(S) petition.

As things grew murkier, the Congress released audio tape where Chief Minister Yeddyurappa was purportedly heard trying to lure an MLA with the promise of a ministerial berth if he backed the BJP government during the trust vote.

There were allegations that Congress MLA Anand Singh was “abducted” by the BJP, but he turned up at the Vidhana Sauda minutes before Yeddyurappa began his speech. He was seen shaking hands with fellow Congress members and then sat with them.

An emotional Yeddyurappa gave enough indications of his resignation during his speech when he said, “I have seen the struggle of farmers, gave land to them, wiped their tears. I wanted to waive their loans up to Rs 1 lakh… but…”

He recalled his struggles as a politician, and said how he helped build the party, which once had just two MLAs. Now it has 104, he said.

“I went to the houses of the poor, stayed with them. I have faced trial by fire all my life, but I will serve my people till my last breath,” Yeddyurappa said, his voice choking as he fought back tears.

Regaining composure, Yeddyurappa said he would now travel across Karnataka and ensure the party won all 28 seats of the state in the Lok Sabha elections and 156 in the next Assembly polls.

The 8-term MLA and twice an MP, Yeddyurappa then announced his decision to step down.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who along with several top party leaders were present during the floor test, thanked the judiciary for preventing “horse-trading” and “protecting the Constitution, democracy and rule of law”.

Azad said the governor gave 15 days time to Yeddyurappa as he was convinced he lacked the support of MLAs required to clear the floor test. “The governor gave them two weeks for breaking our parties… for horse-trading,” he said.

He said the alliance was now waiting for an invitation from the governor to form the government.

It was Yeddyurappa’s shortest stint in power. He became the chief minister for the first time for seven days in 2007, but his government collapsed as the JD(S) reneged on honouring a power sharing arrangement and withdrew support.

He became the chief minister for a second time when the BJP formed its first government in Karnataka in 2008.

Yeddyurappa was at the helm of the state for over three years before he was made to quit follwong indictment by the Lokayukta in an alleged mining scam.

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Karnataka Election 2018

We are awaiting governor’s invite: Kumaraswamy




Bengaluru, May 19 (PTI) Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy today said the Congress-JDS combine was not in a hurry and was awaiting an invitation from the Karnataka governor for government formation in the state.

“We are not in a hurry. We are waiting for an invitation from the governor,” he told reporters, soon after the BJP’s B S Yeddyurappa announced his decision to quit as Karnataka chief minister without facing the vote of confidence in the Assembly.

Asked about the future course of action, Kumaraswamy said the leaders of the Congress and the JD(S) would sit together and take a decision on it.

The Congress has already categorically stated that it will be a Kumaraswamy-headed government in the southern state.

The May 12 Karnataka Assembly polls threw up a hung Assembly, with the BJP emerging as the single-largest party with a tally of 104 seats, but falling short of a majority.

The Congress-JD(S) combine has staked the claim with the governor to form the government, saying they have 117 MLAs in the 224-member House, with an effective strength of 221.

Polling for two seats was not held due to various reasons, while Kumaraswamy won from two places.

The Supreme Court had yesterday ordered a floor test in the Karnataka Assembly at 4 PM today, drastically slashing the 15-day window given by Governor Vajubhai Vala to Yeddyurappa to prove his majority.

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