Yeddyurappa gets invite, first BJP ministry in south on Friday (Lead)

May 27th, 2008 - 11:20 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Bangalore, May 27 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will form its first ministry in south India Friday in Karnataka, chief minister-designate B.S. Yeddyurappa said Tuesday after Governor Rameshwar Thakur invited him to form the government. “The swearing-in will take place Friday,” Yeddyurappa told reporters after meeting the governor in the evening. Party sources said he will take oath at 1.50 p.m.

Several senior party leaders as well as some Independent legislators, who are cushioning the BJP which fell three short of the majority in the state assembly, will take oath of office. “The details are being worked out,” a party leader said.

In Delhi, the union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met in the evening and decided to revoke president’s rule in the state that was imposed Nov 20, 2007.

The governor invited Yeddyurappa to form the government after the Election Commission officially communicated to him the results of the Karnataka assembly polls held in three phases May 10, 16 and 22.

The results were announced Sunday and the BJP bagged 110 seats in the 225-member house that will include one nominated member. The Congress won 80 seats, the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) 28 and Independents six.

The BJP has convinced all six Independents to support it, taking the numbers on its side to 116, three more than the 113 required for majority.

It secured the support of Sudhakar D. from the Hiriyur constituency, Shivaraj (Kanakagiri), P.M. Narendra Swamy (Malavalli), G.D. Shekar (Hosadurga) and Venkataramanappa (Pavagada), after daylong efforts Monday despite attempts by a section of the Congress and JD-S to influence these Independent members against backing the BJP.

On Tuesday it succeeded in wooing the sixth Independent, Varthur Prakash (Kolar), also.

Yeddyurappa met Thakur late Monday evening along with the five supporting Independents and staked claim to form the government.

The 65-year-old Yeddyurappa was keen to take oath on Wednesday itself but fulfilling formalities, like official notification on the completion of the election process and revocation of president’s rule, put paid to his hopes.

The delay in the swearing-in ceremony gives the BJP more time to make elaborate preparations to turn the function into a grand show because it is the first time the party will take power in the country’s south on its own.

BJP leaders including party president Rajnath Singh, L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitely and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi were here in November to witness Yeddyurappa take oath as chief minister at the head of a shaky coalition with the JD-S. His rule lasted just one week as the JD-S withdrew support.

All these stalwarts as well as many more party leaders and thousands of supporters from across Karnataka are expected to watch the swearing-in ceremony Friday, likely to be held in front of the state secretariat building in the heart of Bangalore.

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