The intervening night of May 16 and 17 was a cracker of a night for the Bharatiya Janata Party after the Supreme Court refused to stay the oath-taking ceremony of BS Yeddyurappa. In tune, the BJP leader took oath as the new chief minister of Karnataka May 17 at 9 am.
As the new CM, Yeddyurappa held the first cabinet meeting Thursday and promised that he would soon announce a farm loan waiver of Rs 1 lakh, reported News18. The CM, during his campaign, had made the same promise and said that he would keep it if voted to power.
Yeddyurappa's swearing-in ceremony
Yeddyurappa has become the 23rd chief minister of the state and the swearing-in took place in the presence of senior Union ministers JP Nadda, Dharmendra Pradhan and Prakash Javadekar. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah could not attend the ceremony.
Elaborate arrangements had been made for the swearing-in ceremony with tight security in place and supporters thronged the Raj Bhavan and the BJP office in Bengaluru.
Post the swearing-in ceremony, the Congress held a protest at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Vidhana Soudha and several senior leaders were seen at the venue.
On Wednesday, May 16, the governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Vala invited the BJP to form the government in the state after it became the single largest party. The Congress-JD(S) alliance then objected to the move and took the matter up with the Supreme Court.
Bengaluru: BS Yeddyurappa leaves for Raj Bhavan, to take oath as Karnataka Chief Minister shortly. pic.twitter.com/gfX5kXi698— ANI (@ANI) May 17, 2018
However, in a midnight hearing, the Supreme Court refused to put a stay on the government formation in the state and said that the BJP could go ahead and form the government in Karnataka. It added that the matter would be taken for hearing once again Friday, May 18, at 10.30 am.
Bengaluru: Swearing-in ceremony of BS Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister of Karnataka to begin shortly; Union Ministers JP Nadda, Dharmendra Pradhan and Prakash Javadekar present at Raj Bhavan #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/yV3BEj8wNL— ANI (@ANI) May 17, 2018
More drama likely
However, the drama that has been making headlines across the country since May 15, when the votes were counted, is far from over. The BJP now has 15 days to convert the 104 seats to a majority of 112 and will have to prove this majority on the floor of the house.
The next few days are going to be crucial for the BJP as, as well as, the Congress-JD(S) alliance as questions are already being raised on how the BJP will attain more seats. In tune, there are likely to be more reports of how MLA's are being poached by the BJP in exchange for ministerial posts or money.
In fact, these allegations began pouring in May 16 itself, with Amaregouda Linganagouda Patil Bayyapur, a Congress member, saying that BJP was urging him to defect in exchange for a ministry.
"I got a call from the BJP leaders. They said come to us & we'll give a ministry to you. We'll make you a minister. But, I'm going to stay here. HD Kumaraswamy is our Chief Minister," he told ANI.
Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who in 2017 hit headlines for protecting Gujarat Congress MLAs from being poached, has also accused the BJP of "poaching MLAs."
"They (BJP) are poaching our MLAs, we know that. Every day there is a lot of pressure. But, it not so easy because two parties have the necessary numbers. People are watching this," he told ANI. So is he once again in-charge of safeguarding these MLAs and will they too be moved somewhere else? "Yes, definitely there is a plan. We have to safeguard our MLAs. We will let you know what is the plan."
The Congress-JD(S) alliance has already made its displeasure with Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala clear and several people have also questioned if he is siding with the BJP due to his equation with the party and PM Modi. Vala is also known to be a staunch RSS supporter and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had earlier said that the governor must not take sides and must cut previous ties.
"Governor cannot take sides. Can a person who is there to save constitution, destroy it too? The Governor has to cut all its previous associations, be it BJP or RSS," he told ANI.