Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader BS Yediyurappa on Friday took the oath as the new chief minister of Karnataka.
The swearing-in ceremony commenced at 6.30 pm on Friday -- and after weeks of an overly-stretched political drama.
BJP workers held celebrations across the state after the party staked claim to form the government three days after the fall of the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition front of the Congress and the JD(S).
Party workers danced to drumbeats in various parts of the state, burst crackers and raised slogans hailing the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The highlights from Karnataka:
08:45 pm: Yediyurappa thanks PM Modi
"I thank hon'ble Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji for reposing faith in me. I will earnestly strive for the overall development of Karnataka, on the lines of his bold and all inclusive Governance," Yediyurappa tweets.
08:30 pm: Yediyurappa says will prove majority on July 29
"I will prove majority at 10 am on Monday (July 29) and pass the Finance Bill. I have taken two prominent decisions in the Cabinet meeting," Yediyurappa says.
"At the cabinet meeting held soon after I took oath as chief minister, I decided to go for floor test in the assembly on Monday at 10 am, to prove majority," he adds.
08:25 pm: Yediyurappa had ordered stay on all projects, transfers in July
Before the swearing-in, Yediyurappa had directed Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar to withhold all new projects and transfers made by the earlier JD-S-Congress coalition government in this month.
Purported reports about several multi-crore projects in infrastructure, irrigation and public works sanctioned by the HD Kumaraswamy government were making rounds since the political crisis gripped the southern state after 15 rebels of the coalition parties resigned from the assembly.
Similarly, hundreds of transfer files were reportedly signed by Kumaraswamy in the departments he was in-charge, by his PWD Minister and elder brother H.D. Revanna and other cabinet ministers of both the allies.
In a circular to all secretaries and heads of the various departments, Bhaskar ordered them to keep the projects sanctioned and transfers effected on hold pending review by the new Chief Minister and new orders on them.
07:55 pm: Yediyurappa interacts with the media
"I thank people of Karnataka who gave me the opportunity to be the chief minister," Yediyurappa says.
07:20 pm: "I am sure under his leadership and under the guidance of PM Modi, BJP will give a stable, pro-farmer and development oriented govt in the State. I assure people of Karnataka that BJP is committed to fulfil their aspirations," Amit Shah wishes BSY.
06:40 pm: Yediyurappa has a week's time to prove majority. The Cabinet will take oath after the floor test.
06:35 pm: YEDIYURAPPA TAKES CHARGE
06:30 pm: Swearing-in ceremony begins
06:05 pm: Yediyurappa reaches Raj Bhavan
05:56 pm: Yediyurappa is enroute Raj Bhavan
05:55 pm: Congress, JD-S to boycott swearing-in
Relations between political leaders touched a new low in Karnataka, with the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) deciding to boycott the swearing-in of Yediyurappa as the state's chief minister.
"Our party's state President Dinesh Gundu Rao has directed our leaders, former ministers and legislators to boycott Yediyurappa's oath-taking ceremony as chief minister, as he has no moral right to assume power when his party does not have the majority in the Assembly," Congress spokesman Ravi Gowda told IANS.
05:45 pm: Yediyurappa asks departmental heads to put on hold orders issued in July
Yediyurappa has instructed heads of all departments to put on hold orders relating to new projects that were issued in the current month by the H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government until further review.
He has also put on hold all transfers that were cleared, but have not been executed.
In a letter to all Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and secretaries of various departments, Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar said the CM-designate has directed that orders issued in July 2019 clearing new projects should be put on hold with immediate effect until further review.
04:45 pm: Yediyurappa to address BJP party workers at Jagannath Bhavan in BJP office at 5 pm
04:30 pm: Yeddyurappa is now officially YEDIYURAPPA
12:20 pm: BJP MP from Karnataka Shobha Karandlaje said that rebels MLAs are firm in their decision, and that her party welcomed them as numbers in assembly are not a problem
12:18 pm: Reacting to the announcement of BJP's BS Yeddyurappa's swearing-in today, Congress Legislative Party chief Siddaramaiah said that it was a shame to allow a party that did not have a majority to form government.
11: 50 am: BS Yeddyurappa will have to prove majority in the assembly by July 31.
11:01 am: Governor Vajubhai Vala has invited me to form govt this evening, says Karnataka BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa
10:47 am: I just met the Governor, I will take oath as Chief Minister today at 6 pm, says BS Yeddyurappa
10:23 am: BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa arrives at Raj Bhavan, to stake claim to form government
10:06 am: Yeddyurappa reaches Governor House, to stake claim to form government
10:05 am: BS Yeddyurappa likely to take oath at 12.30 pm today.
09:42 am: I am going to meet the Governor today at 10 am to stake claim to form the government and I will request him to hold oath ceremony today itself, says BS Yeddyurappa
Suspense over the formation of a government by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka continues as the Congress-JDS coalition ministry fell. All eyes are now riveted on the Assembly Speaker's move on the resignations by rebel MLAs and plea for their disqualification.
As it looked to the central leadership to take a shot at government formation, the BJP camp was devoid of any major activity barring internal meetings held by party state unit chief BS Yeddyurappa, who is waiting in the wings for a fourth term as chief minister.
A group of Karnataka BJP leaders, including Jagdish Shettar, Arvind Limbavali, JC Madhuswamy, Basavaraj Bommai and Yeddyurappa's son Vijayendra, met party chief Amit Shah in New Delhi and reportedly discussed the government formation.
Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, who is yet to decide on the resignation and disqualification of the rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs, said he would use his discretion and uphold the faith the Supreme Court has placed in him.
He said there was no further opportunity for the rebel MLAs to appear before him and it was a closed chapter now, adding, "law is same for everyone whether it is a labourer or President of India."
"Yes..the court has left to my discretion (to decide on resignation), I have discretion, I will work accordingly and will uphold the faith that the Supreme Court has expressed in me," Kumar said.
Stating that there was no more option for MLAs to appear before him, he said that process was over.
"I had called them and they did not come, their lawyers had come and have said what they had to, it is a closed chapter," he added.
The BJP is not in a hurry to stake claim to form the government as the fate of 17 rebel MLAs, who are from the Congress-JD(S) coalition, besides an Independent, hangs in the balance with the Speaker yet to take a call on either their resignations or plea to disqualify them.
Not specifying on the next course of action, Kumar in response to a question said, when MLAs resign according to article 190 (3)(b) and 35th amendment to the Constitution, the Speaker can call them for inquiry.
"I had called, they did not appear, that's all," he said.
Asked if he would be issuing another notice to MLAs, he said, "don't I have any work...I had given once, they didn't come, there ends the matter. Law is same for every one from a labourer to President to me, there is no separate constitution to every one."
A delegation of senior BJP leaders had met the Speaker Wednesday to discuss the finance bill that has to be passed by the assembly before July 31.
Responding to a question on BJP meeting him, Kumar said, "they had come--today date is 25 (July), by 31st if we don't pass the Finance bill government will come to a standstill and we will not be in a position to even pay salaries, such a necessity has come, what to do?"
"I have said, as soon as the government is formed and whenever those forming the government say the assembly should be convened, within 48 hours we will call a session, so thatthe work can go on," he added.
The anti-defection law doesn't specify a time-period for the Speaker to decide on disqualification plea.
A disqualified member loses seat and the punitive action forestalls prospects of becoming a minister in the newly sworn in government but he or she can get re-elected to the House.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in its order on Wednesday gave the Assembly Speaker the freedom to decide on the resignation of the 15 MLAs within such time-frame as considered appropriate by him.
The 14-month-old Congress-JDS coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy collapsed on Tuesday after losing the vote of confidence in the assembly in a climax to the three-week long intense power struggle.
Rebel Congress MLA Shivaram Hebbar who arrived from Mumbai, where the disgruntled lawmakers were holed up, at his residence in Yellapura of Uttara Kananda district expressed confidence that the speaker who is a senior and experienced person will take right decision on our resignation.
Speaking to local news channels, he said "we (rebel MLAs) are not disgruntled, we are helpless. As no one came to help us we came out."
Stating that there was no change in their decision, Hebbar said he and other rebel legislators stand by their decision (of resigning). "There is no change in it."
Responding to a question, he said, he does not fear about disqualification and will face it.
"There are laws and rules, recently Umesh Jadhav's resignation as MLA was accepted. I believe in the judiciary and speaker's justice," he said, adding that they will take decision on their political future only after resignations are accepted.
Karnataka caretaker Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said no one can give a stable government in the state in the present political scene.
Kumaraswamy said the resignations by the rebel MLAs of the Congress-JDS coalition had pushed the state towards by-elections.
"Whether you focus on the developmental activities or the by-elections at 20 to 25 places, an atmosphere created by the BJP? We cannot assume that the government will remain stable even after the elections," Kumaraswamy told reporters.
Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah rubbished reports he had instigated the rebels to resign and destabilise the coalition government.
Cautioning media houses against peddling "false news", Siddaramaiah said he would give them a befiting reply if they repeat the allegation in front of him.
In a series of tweets, the Congress strongman in Karnataka said the rebels were trying to "shift the blame on me but the facts would surface once the dust settles."
Siddaramaiah meanwhile held discussions with some senior party leaders and told them that it was not easy for BJP to form the government and sustain for long as dissidence will emerge there too, because they will have to make room for rebel MLAs who have resigned.
According to sources, Siddaramaiah has said, if the government is not formed by July 30 there will be political uncertainty in the state, which may pave the way for mid-term polls, and asked leaders to focus towards facing the elections that may happen.
Video: BJP waits for signal from Delhi to stake claim to form government in Karnataka