Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who heads a JD(S)-Congress coalition government, won the trust vote on Friday soon after the BJP led by BS Yeddyurappa walked out of the Assembly.
The BJP leader and former state Chief Minister was demanding that the government waive farmers’ loans failing which the BJP would hold a state-wide bandh on 28 May.
HD Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony on Thursday provided several parties a platform to showcase Opposition unity ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati, Trinamool Congress head and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav were among those present in Bengaluru on the occasion.
Who Is HD Kumaraswamy?
Elder son of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy was born in Haradanahalli, Hassan, on 16 December 1959. Before joining politics, he was fairly active in the film industry and had a production house. His second marriage was to Kannada actress Radhika.
This is the second time he has become the Karnataka Chief Minister. The first was in 2006, when he formed the government with the support of the BJP but it did not last its full term.
- Age – 58 years
- Education – B.Sc.
- No. of terms as MLA – Four.
- Constituency – Ramanagaram.
- Positions held in the past – Chief Minister (2006-7); President, Karnataka State JD(S).
Political Stalemate Ends
Today’s incident-free confidence vote brought the curtains down on a bitterly contested Karnataka Assembly election that threw up a hung House with BJP emerging as the single-largest party with 104 seats. It fell seven short of the majority mark of 112 (The state has 224 constituencies but elections were held to 222 Assembly seats; polls for two seats were deferred by the election authorities).
The Congress (78 seats) announced its support for the JD(S) led by HD Kumaraswamy (37 seats) hours after the results began coming in and the two staked claim to form a government. The BJP led by BSY, as Yeddyurappa is popularly referred to, called on the Governor and asked to be given the first shot at government formation since it was the single largest party with 104 seats.
On 16 May, state Governor Vajubhai Vala invited Yeddyurappa to form the government and gave him 15 days to prove his majority on the floor of the Assembly. The Congress and the JD(S) challenged the move in the Supreme Court, which refused to stay the swearing-in but gave BSY just two days to prove his majority.
Yeddyurappa, however, resigned before the House could take up a confidence motion for voting, clearing the way for the JD(S)-Congress to form the new government.
The campaign for the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 was a bitter one, with outgoing Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and party president Rahul Gandhi pitted against the might of an efficient BJP machinery led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party CM candidate BS Yeddyurappa.