BJP State president B.S. Yeddyurappa has met Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala and staked claim to form a government. He announced that he will be taking oath as the Chief Minister between 6:00 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. on Friday.
Following his meeting, Mr. Yeddyurappa displayed the letter by the Governor inviting him to form the government, and said he will consult the party high command over who all will take oath as ministers along with him.
He invited all MLAs, especially outgoing CM H.D. Kumaraswamy and CLP leader Siddaramaiah, for the swearing in. The BJP leader said he would call all important leaders personally, and write a letter inviting them for the swearing in.
The Congress-JDS coalition government lost the trust vote by six votes on July 23. While the coalition secured 99 votes, BJP secured 105 votes even as 20 MLAs abstained from the vote. BJP now has a strength of 106 with the support of the independent MLA H. Nagesh.
Mr. Yeddyurappa's announcement comes a day after Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar disqualified three of the 16 rebel MLAs barring them to contest bypolls till the end of the tenure of the present Assembly. This has reduced the strength of the assembly to 222 and simple majority to 112. However, BJP sources said they were confident of proving their majority with rebel MLAs expected to abstain from voting again.
The surprise move is a countermove to keep the rebels flock together, sources said. The disqualification of three rebels would create a fear psychosis among the remaining rebels, even as Congress JDS leaders were trying to woo them back, BJP feared. BJP central leadership that seemed to be in no hurry and contemplating the pros and cons of forming an alternate government, seems to have been pushed into action by the speaker's disqualification decision, sources in the party said.
This will be the second time Mr. Yeddyurappa will be sworn in as the Chief Minister this assembly. He was sworn in as CM in May 2018 after BJP emerged as the single largest party with 104 MLAs in the Assembly polls. But he resigned in just two days without taking a trust vote on the floor of the Assembly, as Congress and JDS got into an alliance and also secured the support of two independent MLAs.