Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators staged a walkout from the Karnataka Assembly even as the coalition government led by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy won the voice vote in the floor test to determine the confirmation of his government.
While all 117 MLAs of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition voted in favour of Kumaraswamy, Leader of the Opposition BS Yeddyurappa led his party’s MLAs out of the house after delivering an ‘emotional’ speech.
Recalling the days when his party had formed the government in alliance with Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal (Secular), Yeddyurappa said that it was the 58-year-old third son of party supremo HD Deve Gowda who reneged on his promise of sharing power after 20 months.
“When it was my turn to become the CM, the father and son started their politicking,” Yeddyurappa was quoted as saying by The Hindu. He was referring to the tumultuous days of 2007 when Kumaraswamy refused to honour the agreement he had made with the BJP on the 20-20 power sharing.
Calling his support to the JD(S) in 2006 “a big crime”, Yeddyurappa declared that he will begin his fight against the father-son duo.
“I have decided to not speak against the Congress leaders. From now, our struggle will be against the corrupt father-son duo,” the 75-year-old Lingayat strongman said and MLA from Shikaripura.
Without taking names, Yeddyurappa admitted that he had approached some people just to ensure that the “corrupt” father-son duo does not come to power.
He then raised the issue of farmers’ loan waiver and announced that if the loans from cooperatives and nationalised banks are not waived off completely, the BJP will hold Karnataka Bandh starting Monday.
As the BJP MLAs walked out of the Assembly, the Congress-JD(S) leaders taunted with calls of “shame, shame, shame”.
Speaking to reporters outside the House, BJP leader R Ashoka said that the state-wide bandh will be held from 28 May. “We will be aggressive now,” he said.
Reacting to Yeddyurappa’s allegations, Kumaraswamy said that the former chief minister’s speech sounded like it was a “rehearsal for some drama company”.
He accused Yeddyurappa of using “impolite words” in the House and claimed that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is using the offices of the Income Tax and the Enforcement Directorate to target opposition.
Following the trust vote, Congress leader DK Shivakumar, the architect of the coalition government, told reporters that BJP leaders will not be allowed to “waste public money”.
“They cannot waste public money, if a law-order problem in created it’ll be because of them. They cannot force and blackmail us,” he said.