May 15, 2018
Image credit : Strap: Political drama continues as BJP falls short of majority and Congress supports Janata Dal (S) to form the government to keep the “communal forces” out of power in Karnataka
Bangalore : After being upstaged in Manipur and Goa, despite winning more number of seats than the BJP, the Congress was ready with a Plan B in Karnataka.
After it was clear that the BJP was falling short of majority, Congress leadership in Delhi put the Plan B into operation. As part of this, the Congress extended support to Janata Dal (S) supremo HD Deve Gowda to form a government. His son HD Kumaraswamy will be forming the next government after the numbers of the Congress and the JD (S) jointly were comfortably ahead of the BJP that fell short of majority mark by 8 seats.
Kumarswamy calls on governor to stake claim to form the government but word is that the governor Vaju Bhai Wala will wait till the election commission declared the results. The person with the numbers, Kumaraswamy has sought time from the governor who had earlier refused to meet Congress state unit chief G Parameswara.
Celebration at the Malleshwaram BJP state unit headquarters were put on hold, and the BJP chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa cancelled tickets to fly to Delhi to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his swearing in ceremony on May 18. So confident was the BJP that it was forming the government, but it just fell short of majority mark of 113 in a 224-member assembly. Elections to two seats were not held. The BJP was poised to win 105 seats well short of the majority by 8 seats.
The scene shifted to the governor house with Kumaraswamy team arriving at Raj Bhavan and so did the BJP leaders H Ananthakumar and Yeddyurappa to call on governor to stake claim to form the government.
The BJP being the largest single party will stake claim to form the government, but for that it needs to split the JD (S). the JD (S) with 38 seats will require at least 12 MLAs to break it.
Chances are that the BJP may get a shot at the government making and given time to prove its majority on the floor of the house. The governor can also invite the post-poll allies to form the government and the governor has the discretion on this score.
The government formation is expected to go down to the wire with both the sides staking claim.
Now it remains to be see if the BJP gets a crack at government formation or the governor prefers to invite Kumaraswamy, who has the support of 115 members.
But the word from the BJP is that it will do everything to stop the Congress from reversing the peoples mandate and denying the BJP a chance to form the government.
Congress tripped the BJP and its chief ministerial candidate Yeddyurappa from becoming the chief minister by supporting Janata Dal (S).
Earlier in the day, when the results showed the BJP falling short of majority, the Congress got into action with Sonia Gandhi sending its top negotiators Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot to close the deal with Janata Dal (S) to stop the “communal forces”.
The results sparked off a fresh round of consultations among the Federal Front leaders who got in touch with Janata Dal (S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and asked him to form a government with Congress help to stop the “communal forces”. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Bannerjee and BSP chief Mayawati spoke with Deve Gowda to take the Congress support and form the government to keep the communal forces out.