|Karnataka BJP chief Sadanand Gowda and his Dal(S) counterpart Mirajudin Patel at Raj Bhavan on Monday. (Above) The parties’ legislators celebrate after meeting the governor. (PTI)
Bangalore, Oct. 29: A call from governor Rameshwar Thakur is all that the BJP needs to form its first government south of the Vindhyas.
The path to the party’s tryst with power in Karnataka was cleared today at a meeting where legislators of the BJP and ally Janata Dal (Secular) chose the BJP’s B.S. Yediyurappa as leader. Later, legislators of both parties were driven to Raj Bhavan in four buses and presented before the governor.
Yediyurappa claimed the support of 129 MLAs, 16 more than the number required for a majority in the 225-member House.
The BJP paraded 80 MLAs, which included one Independent. The Dal(S) paraded 49 MLAs, including three from the Janata Dal (United) and five Independents.
Party sources said the governor accepted the letters of support from each MLA on an affidavit and made them sign a register.
“The process of signature verification will be done in the next 24 hours. After that, I am sure the governor will call Yediyurappa to form the government,” a source in the Dal(S) said.
Outside the Raj Bhavan, the party had already started. Supporters of both parties burst crackers and shouted slogans as the MLAs stepped out flashing the victory sign.
However, in a sign that the obstacles to a new government might not have gone, eight Dal(S) MLAs asked the governor not to give the BJP-Dal(S) an opportunity to assume the reins. This meeting took place just before the parade of legislators.
Rebel Dal(S) leader M.P. Prakash also met the governor, but separately, after rejecting former chief minister and party leader H.D. Kumaraswamy’s truce offer.
Prakash submitted a petition where he drew Thakur’s attention to the “mudslinging campaign” the two parties had launched against each other immediately after the collapse of the Kumaraswamy-led government.
Technically, the Dal(S)’s 58 MLAs have split into a group of 41 and two other splinters, with eight members each. The other member is the Speaker. One of the eight-member groups is led by Prakash.
Some of those now with the dissident leader were ministers in the Kumaraswamy-led government.
Yediyurappa has decided to change, on the advice of his astrologer, the way he spells his name. He has now become Yeddyurappa, instead of Yediyurappa. BJP sources said the new spelling would bring him luck.