BENGALURU: DK Shivakumar, the senior Congress leader in Karnataka, is widely seen to have played a crucial role to block BS Yeddyurappa's efforts to poach some of his party's 78 lawmakers.
Mr Yeddyurappa appeared to concede the pivotal role that Mr Shivakumar had played when he gave him a backhanded compliment, describing him as a khalnayak, or villain.
Mr Yeddyurappa had to resign as chief minister on Saturday last because the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats in this month's assembly election, was short of the majority mark of 111.
The BJP had allegedly attempted to lure and coerce some lawmakers from the Congress-Janata Dal Secular alliance but Mr Shivakumar sequestered the lawmakers in hotels in Bengaluru and later, Hyderabad.
The Congress-JDS flock intact, it wasn't much of a problem for Mr Yeddyurappa's successor to clear the floor test.
News agency Press Trust of India said HD Kumaraswamy received 116 votes at Friday's trust vote. Mr Yeddyurappa's BJP had walked out of the assembly minutes earlier after its leader's speech where he predicted that the Congress would regret their choice of chief minister.
When DK Shivakumar sought to object, Speaker Ramesh Kumar told him it was all right.
"One man's food is another man's poison. You are a hero to some and a villain to others," Mr Kumar said.
"I had to object to this (because) it is my duty. For him I may be a villain...khalnayak... but for my party, I have to do my job," said the Congress leader, who was believed to have been unhappy about overlooked for the deputy chief minister's post. That position went to the Congress's Dalit leader G Parameshwara.