The chief minister of the South Indian state of Karnataka has resigned after only 56 hours in the post, before his authority had to be put to a vote. (Times of India)
The move comes after a week of inconclusive election results in South Indian elections which has thrown the future of political power in Karnataka into limbo.
The May 12 general assembly election, held in 222 constituencies (India Today) of 224 constituencies, ended in a hung assembly (The Times of India). The incumbent government was defeated and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single largest party, with 104 seats. However, it failed to reach the majority of seats required to form the Government.
This led the Indian National Congress, with 78 seats, to support (Economic Times) Janata Dal Secular (JDS), which secured 37 seats, to form the government along with HD Kumaraswamy from JDS as the candidate (The News Minute) to act as chief minister of the alliance.
Both BJP and the alliance government of JDS and INC met the governor of Karnataka to get an invitation to form the government. However, on May 16, the Governor Vajubhai Vala invited the BJP’s B. S. Yeddyurappa to swear as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, giving him 15 days time to prove the majority on the floor.
The Chief Minister candidate of INC-JDS alliance, HD Kumaraswamy, has alleged the BJP for offering 100 crore Indian rupees (NDTV) or US$1.4 million to support BJP in forming the government.
The INC and JDS alliance then petitioned the Supreme Court of India, challenging the (Hindustan Times) Governor for not inviting the alliance, which has the majority. The legal action asked the court to take a stay order on Yeddyurappa’s swearing ceremony which was scheduled on Thursday.
The move caps off a saga that started even before the announcement of the election dates.
The election dates for the Karnataka election were announced by a local media house and the IT head of BJP (The New Indian Express) before the official announcement by the Election Commission of India. Many asked how Amit Malviya had access to that information ahead of time. The confusion came during other curious election happenings.
Three days before the election nearly 10,000 original voter ID (Business Standard) cards were seized in a flat in R.R. Nagar constituent assembly, where the assembly polling was postponed (The Hindu) to May 28.
As the Indian parliamentary elections are nearby, forming a government in Karnataka was seen as a major victory for BJP and the policies implemented by Prime Minister Modi (Hindustan Times).