Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy with Congress leader DK Shivakumar during the swearing-in ceremony of JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Bengaluru on May 23, 2018. (Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI)

Karnataka Floor Test: Kumaraswamy Wins Trust Vote After BJP Walk-Out

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s government won a motion of confidence on the floor of the state assembly, as the Bharatiya Janata Party walked out from the house, after opposition leader BS Yeddyurappa’s speech. The motion was carried unopposed with the BJP absent in the house. The confidence vote brings to an end a 10-day long political drama, after the assembly election results on May 15 yielded a hung assembly.

Kumaraswamy took oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by a clutch of national and regional leaders from parties opposing the Bharatiya Janata Party. The JD(S) and the Congress came together on the day of the election results, to keep the BJP out of power.

The outcome of the coalition between JD(S) and Congress is now being seen as an indicator of whether India’s opposition is capable of putting up a strong united front against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The new Karnataka government will have 22 ministers from the Congress and 12 from the JD(S). With 78 MLAs, the Congress is numerically stronger than the JD(S), which won 37 seats in the assembly elections.

In the coming weeks, deferred elections have to be held in two assembly constituencies in Bengaluru, and Kumaraswamy has to vacate one of the two seats he was elected from.

Also read: It’s Complicated: A History Of Congress-JD(S) Breakups, Patch-Ups

Congress Nominee Elected Speaker

Ramesh Kumar, a six-time MLA of the Congress was elected speaker unanimously, after the BJP withdrew its nominee Suresh Kumar.

BJP’s 3-Day Government

The day after the election results, BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa claimed the right to form a government as the leader of the single largest party, as did the JD(S) Congress combine. Both sides approached Governor Vajubhai Vala, who invited Yeddyurappa to form the government first. The Congress moved the Supreme Court, which conducted an all-night hearing. Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the chief minister the following morning, only to resign ahead of a floor test in three days, after the Supreme Court advanced the confidence vote to Saturday.

Also read: Karnataka Verdict: Kumaraswamy To Form Government On Wednesday After 3-Day CM Yeddyurappa Resigns