After Bangarappa resigned, there was a competition between S M Krishna and M Veerappa Moily. Before that, Rao summoned me to Delhi and said "Be prepared. I have kept the flight ready. Tomorrow you are taking Oath as CM. Don't talk much, I am directing you. It is in Party's interest. Honest people like you should become CM," he directed me. He did not heed to my request. "I don't want to hear any argument," he said firmly. I came out.
Meanwhile, Moily had started hectic lobbying for the CM post. He had the support of Kerala CM Karunakaran who was very close to Rao. Karunakaran's words had value in Delhi those days. He was one of those who had supported Rao's candidature for PM's post immediately after Rajiv Gandhi's death. It was Karunakaran who was very upset with me to a question I raised in the Working Committee Meeting after the death of Rajiv Gandhi. "Who are you?," he had asked me."Mr Karunakaran, you want me to tell the meeting who are you? Shall I open your history?,"' I had replied while silencing him. "Are you forgetting Gandhi family so soon? Who is responsible for you to become Chief Minister? And all the posts you are holding? You don't have courtesy to cross the road and ask her (Sonia Gandhi)? You are talking lot of things. Isn't it?,'' I had told him.
He was nursing a grudge against me and that made him side with Moily. "If you don't make Moily as Chief Minister, I will have to go against you," Karunakaran reportedly warned Rao. This is why Rao chose Moily. In fact, S M Krishna had the support of majority MLAs then. Everything changed because of Moily's lobbying.
Around 11 am, I got the call from PM's office. "The flight has been cancelled. You are not taking Oath as CM,'' I was told. I was relieved. This is how Moily became Chief Minister. If there was an election, S M Krishna would have become the Chief Minister.
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