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Home > News > Report

All that happened in Karnataka in 40 months

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | November 29, 2007 02:12 IST

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In just under 40 months, Karnataka witnessed politics in India touch a new low.

If you want to know what just happened in the state but were lost in the political quagmire, do not worry.

Here, in 500 words, we give you a snapshot of all that happened in Karnataka.

The assembly election in Karnataka was held in May 2004. The Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest party with 79 seats, which still was way short of the 113 that any party needed to form a government in the 226-member House.

The incumbent Congress came second with 64 seats while former prime minister H D Deve Gowda's Janata Dal-Secular, which was written off by the media, surprised everyone with a commendable 57 seats.

The Congress, unmindful of the fact that the people had voted it out, joined hands with the JD-S and formed the government, with Congress leader Dharam Singh taking over as chief minister. According to the agreement, the Congress would rule for 30 months and the JD-S for 30 months. But from day one, it was the JD-S that was in control of the proceedings and called all the shots.

Exactly 18 months later, Deve Gowda's youngest son H D Kumaraswamy, apparently going against his father's wishes, entered into an alliance with the BJP. The JD-S and BJP combine entered into a 20-months-each power sharing pact. It was agreed that the JD-S would hand over power to the BJP in October 2007, following which the BJP's B S Yeddyurappa would take over as chief minister.

But when October came, the JD-S refused to hand over power. Talks went on between the two parties for a week but then Gowda stepped in to put his final stamp of disapproval. The BJP withdrew support and the governor recommended the dissolution of the House. The Union Cabinet, however, decided to impose President's rule and keep the House under suspended animation.

Both the JD-S and the Congress made several unsuccessful attempts to form a government. Kumaraswamy then did an about turn and offered support to the BJP. The latter readily agreed.

B S Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the first BJP chief minister in south India on November 12. It could have been a happy ending. But the JD-S, apparently, had more was in store, and it was not to be.

Exactly seven days later when Yeddyurappa was to take the floor test, the JD-S pulled the rug on the BJP once again.

The JD-S issued a whip asking its legislators to vote against the BJP on the ground that the BJP had not agreed to several of its conditions. Before taking the floor test on November 19, Yeddyurappa walked out of the legislative assembly and tendered his resignation to the governor.

The Governor recommended the imposition of President's rule for the second time in two months. The Union Cabinet ratified President's rule and also recommended the dissolution of the House. The President signed on the proclamation on November 28.

The state will now see polls in about six months time.