Dharam Singh steps down as Karnataka Chief Minister

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Beleaguered Karnataka Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, of the Congress (I) party, resigned on Saturday, in what appeared to be a bid to avert an imminent defeat on the floor of the house.

Singh's decision came after he was summoned by Governor T.N. Chaturvedi to discuss the constitutional deadlock arising out of his failure to take the trust vote in the assembly on Friday due to pandemonium that led to its indefinite adjournment.

"I have decided to resign after Governor T.N. Chaturvedi expressed his inability to convene the assembly again on technical grounds to enable me to move the trust vote," Singh told reporters. He said he had sent the resignation letter to the governor as he had no other option but to quit.

Singh demitted office exactly 20 months after he was sworn in May 28 as chief minister.

The resignation is expected to lead to a coalition government of the Janata Dal-Secular and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to be led by the former's H.D. Kumaraswamy, son of former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda.

This will be the first time the right wing party, BJP will taste power anywhere in southern India.