HD Kumaraswamy wins trust vote minutes after BJP stages walkout

NEW DELHI: Ten days of drama ended today, at least for the immediate future, with the JD (S)-Congress coalition government winning the floor test in the Karnataka assembly, two days after their joint candidate, the JD (S)'s HD Kumaraswamy was sworn in as chief minister of the state.

Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy won the floor test with a voice vote in the assembly. BJP MLAs led by former CM Yeddyurappa walked out of the assembly just before the confidence vote.

The election for the post of Speaker preceded the vote of confidence. Senior Congress leader Ramesh Kumar was elected unanimously to the post by lawmakers.

Following the May 12 polls, the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, eight seats short of the simple majority mark of 112. It was invited to form the government, formed one hastily with BS Yeddyurappa taking the oath as chief minister, but then retreated ahead of a floor test, knowing it wouldn't garner majority support.

Yeddyurappa resigned a little under three days after taking the oath as chief minister.

Even though the Karnataka governor invited the BJP to form the government, with a period of 15 days to prove its majority on the floor of the house, the Supreme Court in an interim order directed the floor test to be held in just two days, after Yeddyurappa had taken oath as the chief minister.

In stepped a freshly-formed alliance of the Congress party (78 seats) and JD(S) (37 seats), plus two independent candidates, making a total of 117 lawmakers, a majority at the time - on paper, at least. The JD (S)'s Kumaraswamy bagged the chief minister's post and the Congress got the deputy chief minister's post. They were sworn in on Wednesday.

Since the results of May 15 though, what has followed is the corralling of lawmakers in resorts in an around Bengaluru to prevent horse-trading.

Meanwhile, in a twist to the unfolding political drama, Congress leader and deputy chief minister G Parameshwara yesterday said the party had taken no decision yet to support Kumaraswamy as chief minister for the full five year-term.

Separately, in a press briefing yesterday, the chief minister said he will fulfill all the promises made by the Congress and the JD (S) in their manifesto.
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