Eight-day-old BJP-led government in Karnataka falls; Governor Rameshwar Thakur sends report to Centre
BANGALORE: The eight-day-old Bharatiya Janata Party led-coalition government in Karnataka collapsed on Monday after Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, faced with the withdrawal of support by the Janata Dal (Secular), decided to quit rather than face a trust vote in the Assembly.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, who moved the motion of confidence with the hope of a last-minute change of heart by the JD(S), sprang a surprise by announcing his resignation even as the discussion was on. As Mr. Yeddyurappa submitted his resignation midway through the discussion, the Speaker ruled that the Chief Minister had not secured the trust vote.
Accompanied by party seniors and legislators, Mr. Yeddyurappa met Governor Rameshwar Thakur and submitted his resignation.
The Governor has accepted the resignation and sent a report on the developments to President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil.
JD(S) issues whip
Earlier, JD(S) Legislature Party leader H.D. Kumaraswamy issued a whip to all party MLAs to vote against the confidence motion.
The BJP leaders tried their best to convince the JD(S) chief and former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, and Mr. Kumaraswamy to reconsider their stand. However, after Mr. Gowda left for New Delhi in the evening, they realised that it was all over.
Mr. Yeddyurappa accused the JD(S) of playing foul and urged the Congress to opt for fresh elections in the interests of democracy.
He said: “The issue is about ‘vachana bhrashtate’ [failure to keep the promise]. I am not power hungry. The JD(S) insisted that the Mining and Urban Development portfolios be given to it. But I made it very clear that I will not continue as Chief Minister even if there is a slight variation from the power-sharing pact agreed upon 20 months ago.
We decided to rejoin hands with the JD(S) only after Mr. Deve Gowda spoke to our central leaders.”
New Delhi Special Correspondent writes:
A late night meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, considered Mr. Thakur’s report but took no decision. “The CCPA meeting was inconclusive. It will meet again tomorrow morning,” said Union Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj after the meeting.
Earlier in the evening, the Governor’s report was received here. Mr. Thakur is reported to have recommended re-imposition of President’s rule as there was no possibility of any alternative government.
A proclamation under Article 356 (1) will cease to operate unless it is approved by both Houses of Parliament within two months. Hence, the Assembly cannot be dissolved; it can only be kept under suspended animation.
All-India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of Karnataka and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan told The Hindu that the party’s stand was vindicated. “We had maintained all along that no stable government is possible in the State under the circumstances. We did not want another alliance with Mr. Gowda.”
“This will be good for the people of Karnataka,” he added.