Congress, JD-S protest Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as Karnataka CM

The beleaguered Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leaders on Thursday staged a protest against BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as the Karnataka Chief Minister, terming it unconstitutional.

Leaders of the Congress and JD-S, who had hastily stitched a post-poll alliance, staged the protest in front of the state legislature building soon after Yeddyurappa was administered the oath of office by Governor Vajubhai R. Vala at the Raj Bhavan.

“Constitutionally, we (JD-S and Congress) should have been given the chance to form the government as we together have the majority in the assembly.

“This decision by the Governor to invite the Bharatiya Janata Party to form the government is against the Constitution,” state unit Congress chief G. Parameshwara told reporters here.

Among the leaders protesting were former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, along with several newly-elected legislators from both the Congress and JD-S.

Speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah said: “Yeddyurappa first needs to furnish the list proving his majority in the House.”

JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda also joined the protest. The party’s state president H.D. Kumaraswamy attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for “demolishing” the democracy.

“Modi government wants to demolish democracy by targeting the opposition parties. When the JD-S and Congress have a majority, we weren’t invited by the Governor to form the government,” Kumaraswamy said.

Venugopal alleged that Yeddyurappa being directed by the Governor to prove his majority on the floor of the House within 15 days was “only to allow horse-trading”.

“Fifteen days were granted by the Governor only to allow BJP to indulge in horse-trading. If the BJP has a majority, two days are enough to prove it. The BJP is trying to poach MLAs,” he said.