BJP may stake claim to form govt in Karnataka today

The collapse of the coalition government in Karnataka last evening sets the stage for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to stake claim to power in the southern state and likely marks the return of 76-year-old Lingayat strongman BS Yeddyurappa to the chief minister’s chair for the fourth time.

All eyes are now on governor Vajubhai Vala, who accepted chief minister HD Kumaraswamy’s resignation last night and asked him to lead a caretaker government. In the 225-member assembly, the BJP is the single largest party with 105 legislators. Yeddyurappa said he will meet Vala to stake claim after consulting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah.

“We are going to have a legislature party meet now,” he told reporters in Bengaluru last night. Senior BJP leader R Ashoka said the party is likely to meet the governor to form the next government later today. Union Minister Sadananda Gowda said that Yeddyurappa will form the next government.

Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa wrote a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah and congratulated for his and party’s support in general. “All our party’s 105 members stood like a rock with the party at this juncture. We had a testing time for a last couple of days for various political reasons, but overcame all those critical moments before defeating the confidence motion,” the letter read. He claimed, in the letter, that more than the party members people of the state are relieved lot as they were fed up with the ‘bad governance of the coalition set up’.

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said the BJP will stake claim to form the government after taking guidance from the central leadership. “We are going to stake the claim to form the government but the formalities will be decided after taking guidance from the national leaders,” he added.

The fate of the 15 rebel legislators – 12 from the Congress and three from the Janata Dal (Secular) – also continues to be uncertain. Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar is yet to take a final call on accepting their resignation letters, and disqualification petitions pending against them.

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