M A I N   N E W S

Kumaraswamy to take oath on Feb 3
Dharam Singh resigns
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, January 28
A firm stand by the Karnataka Governor, Mr T.N. Chaturvedi, today left no option open for the Chief Minister, Mr N. Dharam Singh, but to resign from his post. In an equally quick move, the Governor invited breakaway Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy to form the government, ending political uncertainty on this score. The new government will take charge on February 3.

Mr Dharam Singh was not left with any option when the Governor refused to accept his plea to be given one more opportunity to prove his majority on the floor of the house. The Chief Minister did not move a vote of confidence in the House yesterday despite being repeatedly requested by the Assembly Speaker to do so. The House was adjourned sine die after Congress legislators continued to protest against the Speaker’s decision to recognise Mr Kumaraswamy as the head of the JD(S) legislature party.

The Chief Minister himself disclosed that the Governor had refused to give him another chance citing technical reasons. When this was refused, his Principal Secretary, Mr S.V. Ranganath, handed over his resignation to the Governor. He claimed he had taken this decision as he did not want to cling to power.

The Governor, while explaining his action to newsmen, said: “I have invited Mr Kumaraswamy to form the government at the earliest as I believe, on the basis of letters of support from the JD(S) and the BJP, that he is in a position to command majority in the house. Mr Chaturvedi has given Mr Kumaraswamy eight days to prove his majority on the floor of the house.”

The Governor said he had done this in order to give an opportunity to members of the former government, who had claimed that the floor test could not materialise due to no fault of theirs. He said he had adopted the present course of action after a thorough examination of the report of the Speaker as well as taking the views of constitutional experts.

There was jubilation in both the JD(S) and BJP camps who praised the firm stand taken by the Governor which forced Mr Dharam Singh to put in his papers.

Mr Kumaraswamy, when asked about his priorities, said he would come out with a common minimum programme in consultation with his BJP allies. He, however, did state that he would form a stable government. The BJP camp said senior leader B.S. Yediyurappa would take oath as Deputy Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, the Congress, which had all along been claiming during negotiations with former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda that they had complete faith in him, today did a turn around and held Mr Gowda responsible for the “political drama”.

The Pradesh Congress President, Mr Malikarjun Kharge, said today that Mr Gowda was responsible both for the fall of the government as well as paving the way for the installation of his son as Chief Minister. This statement is the first from the Congress indicating that it now believes it had been misled by Mr Gowda.


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