The BJP and Shiv Sena are locked in tug-of-war over rotational chief ministership. The Shiv Sena is pushing for a commitment– that too, in writing– that it would get the post of chief minister for half the term under 50-50 formula. The BJP has been opposed to the proposal because previous such arrangements resulted nothing but a nightmare for the senior coalition partner. And, this is where the Gordian knot lies. The BJP has, since then, refrained from going for rotational chief ministership.

 

The first such arrangement of rotational chief ministership was experimented in 1997 in UP because of hung assembly. Both BJP and BSP cobbled together and settled for a formula under which Mayawati, was to be the chief minister for six months. Kalyan Singh was to hold the post for next six months. A review of the power-sharing arrangement was to take place at the end of one year. After completing 6 months tenure as chief minister Mayawati handed over chief ministership to Kalyan Singh in September 1997.

However, without any provocation, (BSP) withdrew support to Kalyan Singh government on 21 October 1997. 

 

A second instance, in the ninth assembly of Jammu and Kashmir in 2002, there was a rotational chief minister arrangement and in spite of lower number of MLAs Mufti Muhammad Sayeed (PDP) became 6th chief minister for first half in 2002-2005. For the second half tenure Gulam Nabi Azad became the 7th chief minister of the state on 2nd November 2005. However, PDP withdrew its support and Azad had to resign from chief ministership prematurely on 7th July 2008.

 

The third such rotational chief ministership agreement spun on its head for the BJP for the second time in Karnataka.

In 2006, after fall of Dharam Singh’s government BJP leader Yediyurappa allied with HD Kumaraswamy, the son of Deve Gowda. Rotational chief ministership arrangement was agreed upon. Kumaraswamy became the chief minister. Kumaraswamy’s first stint as chief minister in the BJP-led coalition government lasted less than two years from February 2006 to October 2007.

 

In case of the BJP, B S Yediyurappa became chief minister for the first time in 2007 but remained in office for only seven days after the JD(S) withdrew support and the President’s rule was imposed in the state.