Yeddyurappa today took oath as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka after Governor Vajubhai Vala allowed BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, to form the government. Yeddyurappa sworn-in as CM even after his party did not get the absolute majority, therefore he has formed a minority government. Congress-JDS alliance, which tried its every bit to stay Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in failed to convince the Supreme Court to rule against Governor’s decision and putting a stay on BJP government formation in Karnataka. In an all-night hearing in the Supreme Court, the Congress-JDS counsel put arguments and counter-arguments to put their case forward that Governor’s decision to allow Yeddyurappa to form the government with just 104 MLAs when there is a requirement of 113, was illegal. The Congress party asked the court that when their alliance with JDS has the numbers to prove the absolute majority then how can the Governor call Yeddyurappa to form the government. However, representing BJP, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi also put his argument forward saying that the government has been asked to prove the majority within a limited period of time and that Governor’s decision was not wrong, as BJP is the single largest party.
The Governor has given 15-days time to the Yeddyurappa government to prove the majority in the House. If he fails to do so, then Congress-JDS alliance will be invited to form the government in Karnataka. However, it’s not for the first time when a minority government has come into power. In the past too, there have been instances when governments were formed even when they did not have the majority. Take a look at these three government, who were formed when they did not have the absolute majority.
Minority government during Indira Gandhi time. Between 1969-1971, after the General elections, Congress party had formed in the Centre with 220 MPs when the required number was 272.
In the year 1996, during Atal Bihar Vajpayee’s time, the BJP formed government at the Centre with only 161 MPs when the half-way mark was 272. Vajpayee’s government was given 15 days time after he was sworn-in as the Prime Minister, however, he failed to prove the majority and had to resign.
Talking about another minority government, in the year 1990, SJP formed the government and its leader Chandra Shekhar took oath as the Prime Minister. Having just 64 MPs when the half-way mark was 272, the government was able to sustain and won the trust vote with Rajiv Gandhi’s support.
Focussing back on Yeddyurappa government, then it only has 104 MLAs but the required number is 113. Currently, it does not have the majority, however, the Governor has given Yeddyurappa 15-days time to prove the majority on the floor of the House. Meanwhile, Congress-JDS is confident that their MPAs won’t jump the ship and assured faith on party legislatures.
Congress-JDS approached Supreme Court which during its over-night hearing though did not stop Yeddyurappa to form the government but asked him to produce the letter which he gave to the Governor in which he staked claim to form the government. It now all depends on how Supreme Court’s in tomorrow’s (Friday 10:30 am hearing) will act regarding the minority government formation in Karnataka.