A series of reversals forces India’s newest chief minister from office

May 20, 2018

LITTLE did B.S. Yeddyurappa know when he was sworn in as chief minister of Karnataka on May 17th how brief his tenure would be. Two days later he was gone. The reversal was a humiliation for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose local branch he heads and which also runs the central government. For opposition parties, it was a rare moment of triumph.

The drama began on May 15th when the results of the recent state election were declared. Three competing parties had each won a sizeable share of seats in the assembly, leaving a hung parliament. The BJP emerged as the biggest single party, with 104 seats, but fell short of the 113 needed for a majority. The party’s only national rival, Congress, which came second, immediately locked arms with the third force, a regional outfit called the Janata Dal-Secular (JDS). Together they commanded 115 seats. The pairing of Congress and JDS thus claimed the right to form the state’s next government, with the son of the founder of JDS to...


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