The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) first ministry in south India is likely to assume office Friday, party sources said Tuesday, a day after it staked claim to form the government after gaining majority in the 225-member assembly with the help of five independents.
The BJP won 110 seats and secured the support of five independents after daylong efforts Monday in the face of attempts by a section of Congress and Janata Dal-Secular to influence the independents against backing the BJP.
"The exact timing of swearing in has not been decided but it will be in the morning," a party leader said.
On Sunday, when the results of the three-phase balloting were announced, the party had thought of having the swearing in ceremony Wednesday.
Apparently the plan has been revised as there is not much time for preparation for the ceremony, which the party would like to make it a grand show because it is the first time the BJP will take power in the country's south on its own.
BJP leaders including party president Rajnath Singh, LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitely and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi had come in November last year to witness their state leader BS Yeddyurappa take oath as chief minister at the head of a shaky coalition with the JD-S. His rule lasted just one week as the JD-S withdrew support.
All these stalwarts as well as many more party leaders and thousands of supporters from across Karnataka are expected to watch the swearing in ceremony Friday, likely to be held in front of the state secretariat building in the heart of Bangalore.
Yeddyurappa met Governor Rameshwar Thakur Monday evening along with the five supporting independents and staked claim to form the government.
Thakur will formally invite Yeddurappa Tuesday to form the government and will set a date within which the new chief minister will have to prove his majority on the floor of the assembly.
The five independents are Sudhakar D. from Hiriyur constituency, Shivaraj (Kanakagiri), P.M. Narendra Swamy (Malavalli), GD. Shekar (Hosadurga) and Venkataramanappa (Pavagada).
Six independents were elected to the 225-member assembly. The sixth independent, Varthur Prakash, declined to support the BJP. He contested as a Congress rebel and won from Kolar, about 90 km from Bangalore.