May 16, 2018
The poaching fear has caught the three contenders for power in Karnataka – the Janata Dal (S), the Congress and even the BJP – and are packing off their respective newly elected MLAs to resorts for ‘safe keeping’ ahead of government formation moves.
The ball for now is firmly in the governor Vajubahi Vala’s court after the two sides, the BJP and the Janata Dal (S) – Congress combine called on the governor and staked claim to form government and gave the governor their respective lists of supporters.
The Janata Dal (S)-Congress combine submitted a list of 116 MLAs of the two parties, but interestingly five of the names were missing, three from the Janata Dal and two from the Congress. The Congress leaders asserted that the two MLAs were on their way back to Bangalore and would be very much present.
The JD (S) MLAs were holding a protest outside the Raj Bhavan to put pressure on the governor to take what they called the right decision – to invite the post poll alliance with the numbers to form the government.
The Congress leaders who brought along their MLAs to parade them before the governor in a show of strength to ward off the BJP claim of majority to form the government later said these MLAs would be sent to Eagleton resorts on the outskirts of the city. According to a Congress MLA, he had packed for a week at the resort.
Word has it that even the BJP was fearful of its MLAs and to prevent poaching from the veterans in this game – the Congress – are going to place them under lock and key of a resort outside Bangalore city. There were reports that some BJP MLAs were unhappy with Yeddyurappa’s leadership. Resort politics will be complete with the protesting Janata Dal (S) MLAs too taken to another resort by its leadership.
Kumaraswamy, accompanied by senior Congress leaders, met the governor to stake his claim to form the government, minutes after a BJP delegation claimed its right to form government formally in a meeting with the governor.
The Kissa Kursi Ka has well and truly begun in Karnataka on Wednesday.
“Some Congress and JD (S) MLAs are unhappy with the post-poll tie up between their two parties,” union minister Prakash Javdekar said hinting that the BJP was gaining its confidence about the numbers as it was hoping to wean away from the JD (S) and Congress.
Kumaraswamy on the other hand charged that the BJP was offering Rs 100 crore per MLA and a cabinet berth to cross over. “The BJP can try all it can, but not even one MLA will go,” Kumaraswamy told a media conference.
Amid buzz that the governor Vajubhai Vala could invite Yeddyurappa to have the first shot at government formation, accepting his plea that he was the leader of the largest single party (formally elected at BJP MLAs meet here on Wednesday morning), the Congress upped the ante. It has declared that it will move the Supreme Court if Yeddyurappa was given the first chance to form the government.
All eyes are on the governor as to what decision he takes.