Episode IV: Return of Yedi

Karnataka’s new chief minister, BS Yediyurappa, announced an additional payment of ₹2,000 each in two instalments to the beneficiaries of the PM Kisan Samman scheme, and waiver of outstanding loans taken by weavers.

The first cabinet meeting, which was attended by Yediyurappa and chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar, took these decisions soon after the 76-year-old BJP leader took over as the new CM.

Earlier in the evening, governor VR Vala administered the oath of office at an event in the Raj Bhavan, which brought the curtains down on the 20-day political drama that saw the fall of the 14-month Janata Dal(S)-Congress regime in a floor test.

No other BJP member took oath on Friday. The CM will move a trust vote in the assembly on Monday, and on the same day will table the appropriation Bill, a critical necessity to enable the government to draw funds from August 1. The cabinet formation will follow the floor test.

Yediyurappa, who has changed the spelling of his name from Yeddyurappa, participated in the ceremony wearing a green shawl amid slogan-shouting by BJP workers.

Former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah did not attend. Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao had asked party leaders and workers to stay away.

Expelled Congress MLA R Roshan Baig and former Congress MLA from Tumakuru district KN Rajanna showed up. BJP national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao, and former CM SM Krishna also attended.

“I assure the opposition parties that I am not going to do politics of vendetta. I will take opposition parties into confidence,” Yediyurappa said in his first media conference as the CM. “I will show the difference between the previous government and our government in three months.”

Number Theory: With Yediyurappa assuming office, the challenge before the BJP now is to ensure the attendance in the Karnataka assembly does not exceed 208 at the time of the floor test. The BJP has 105 MLAs of its own and has the support of an independent MLA, H Nagesh.

After the disqualification of three MLAs, the number of elected members in the assembly has dropped to 221, and the party is still short of five members to have a majority. In view of this predicament, the party has asked rebel Congress and JDS MLAs to stay away from Karnataka until the trust vote was over, said a BJPmember.

The news of BJP staking claim to form the government broke out only on Friday morning, after BJP national president Amit Shah gave the green signal.

No comments: