Bengaluru: BJP’s old and tested warhorse BS Yediyurappa took oath as the 23rd Chief Minster of the State with a brand new name at the sprawling Raj Bhavan. From Yeddyurappa, the 76-year-old became Yediyurappa after astrologers advised him that the I in his name will bring him luck. But with a legacy of staying in power as CM from 8 days to just 48 hours in the past, the three-time Chief Minister may need truckloads of luck from the courts and ‘blessings’ of the rebel MLAs in his fourth innings.
The oath was administered by Governor Vajubhai Valla in a simple ceremony. Only Yediyurappa took oath and the cabinet would be expanded after he proves the majority on the floor of the Assembly.
The new CM said he will prove his majority at 10 am sharp Monday and get the financial bill passed so that the state will not come to a standstill. In the first major decision, he said the state government will add Rs 4000 in two instalments to the existing Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhhi (PM-KISAN) dole of Rs 6000.
The BJP was clever enough to hold the swearing in on a Friday evening. The court would not be sitting on the weekend and when it sits on Monday, Yediyurappa would have won with the help of rebel MLAs staying away. This is why the CM fixed 10 am for the floor test.
The Congress and the JD(S) were once again caught napping as they did not approach the court on Friday morning when the announcement of swearing in ceremony was made.
In the morning, BSY went to Governor Vajubhai Valla and staked claim to form the next government. This followed a half-nod from BJP president Amit Shah and working president JP Nadda to Yediyurappa. The nod came at around 8 am when reports came in that the rebel MLAs holed up in Mumbai were getting restless and had issued a deadline to get a government in Bengaluru or they will go back to their parties.
But the biggest point of debate was the action of the Governor in inviting the BJP when the effective strength of the Assembly is 221 after the disqualification of two Congress MLAs and an independent. The half way mark is 111 and with 105 on its side, the BJP is nowhere near. With two independents, the number would go to 107.
Moreover, with 105 MLAs on its side, Yediyurappa lost the trust vote just 14 months ago. Nothing has changed after than in the number game.
Experts say that the Governor should have invited BSY only when the half way mark was achieved. He cannot factor in the rebel MLAs and their cause. The Congress and JD(S) plan to approach the court on this issue.
Even before he took oath of office, BSY ordered the Chief Secretary to stay all the orders of the previous government taken from July 1.
Later, addressing his first press meet, the Chief Minister said in 4-5 months he will prove the difference between the coalition government and the BJP. “Our imprint will be seen very soon,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Congress and the JD(S) leaders boycotted the swearing in ceremony. Senior BJP leaders from Delhi too gave the swearing in ceremony in Bengaluru a miss. But local BJP workers ‘imported’ a lookalike Narendra Modi for the swearing in ceremony.
Among the dignitaries who attended the ceremony at the glass house were former CM of Karnataka SM Krishna, Union Minister Sadananda Gowda, rebel Congress MLA Roshan Baig, MPs Shoba Karandlaje and Tejeswi Surya.