The political drama in Karnataka reached the doorsteps of Supreme Court on Wednesday midnight after the Congress-JDS alliance challenged Governor Vajubhai Vale’s invitation to the BJP to form the new government in the state. The apex court, however, refused to stay the oath-taking ceremony of Yeddyurapaa but added that the government formation in the state would, however, be subject to the final outcome of the case before it. The matter is again listed for hearing on Friday.
Calling it a ‘diabolical conspiracy to denigrate democracy,” the Congress and JDS moved the Supreme Court late midnight to quash the order and declare it as “unconstitutional, arbitrary, illegal, void-ab-initio, and violative of Article 14 of Constitution of India”. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Congress argued that the Governor must have invited the post-poll coalition to form government as no single party had secured a majority. He questioned the 15 days time given to Yeddyurappa for proving majority saying the Supreme Court had earlier said “to give such time is to encourage the constitutional sin of poaching…”. KK Venugopal arguing for the Centre, said that a floor test was the best to know if the Governor’s decision was right. “We don’t know what happened in exchanges between Governor and Yeddyurappa, or what he has said in his letter,” he said.
The BJP with 104 seats emerged as the single largest party in the elections, but fell short of majority. The Congress has 78 seats, and the JD(S) with 37 — joined hands together to keep BJP at bay. Together they have 117 seats (with the support of 1 BSP and 1 Independent).
Here are the highlights on Congress-JDS alliance in Karnataka. We bring you fastest and real-time updates in Malayalam, Bengali and Tamil.
Governor said he would act as per Constitution, says state Congress chief
Addressing a press conference, Kumaraswamy said he told the governor that if they were not allowed to form the government in Karnataka, they would be forced to explore legal options. In a letter to Governor Vajubhai Vala, 115 MLAs have signed in support of JD(S). However, Congress' Anand Singh was not among the signatories, fuelling suspicion of horse-trading. However, Congress said the party was in touch with Singh. State Congress chief Parameshwara says Vala assured them he would act as per Constitution, Supreme Court judgments and precedents.
Congress, JD(S) meeting with governor ends
All the 78 MLAs of the Congress and 37 MLAs of JD(S) along with HD Kumaraswamy have reached the Raj Bhavan. Meeting with Governor Vajubhai Vala ends. Congress MLAs have given to the governor in writing about their support to JD(S). However, reports said the governor has refused to accept the parading of MLAs by the two parties. Governor has given us the assurance that he will take the decision based on the constitution, says Kumaraswamy after meeting with Vajubhai Vala. The JD(S) leader says party MLAs are safe.
Kumaraswamy and 37 JD(S) MLAs reach Raj Bhavan
HD Kumaraswamy and 37 JD(S) MLAs reach Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala. Amid hectic jockeying over government formation in Karnataka, Kumaraswamy, earlier in the day, claimed the BJP offered his MLAs Rs 100 crore in bribes to break away and back the BJP in government formation. (Express photo by Manoj Kumar)
Congress-JD(S) MLAs to reach Raj Bhavan shortly, all eyes on Governor Vajubhai Vala
While Congress MLAs are approaching the Raj Bhavan in a bus, HD Kumaraswamy is also leading a delegation to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala. All eyes are now on Vala, who has the discretion to invite any leader to form the government. But he must make a choice keeping in mind the leader’s ability to prove his majority on the floor of the House, and to provide a stable government.
Congress MLAs to meet governor at 5 pm
According to latest reports, Congress MLAs are being taken to the Raj Bhavan and is scheduled to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala at 5 pm.
Ananth Kumar, Dharmendra Pradhan, JP Nadda meet Yeddyurappa
BJP leaders Ananth Kumar, Dharmendra Pradhan, JP Nadda and Muralidhar Rao met newly elected legislative party leader BS Yedyurappa at his residence in Bengaluru and discussed ways over forming the government.
No governor can go against Constitution, says Ghulam Nabi Azad
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who has been camping in Bengaluru since Sunday, said they have been seeking an appointment with Governor Vajubhai Vala since 12 noon but haven't received any message. "Since 12-12.30 pm, we are seeking appointment with the Governor to handover two letters - one of legislator party of Congress another of legislator party of JD(S). We haven't received any message from Governor so far," he said. When asked if Congress would take the legal route, Azad said stealing of MLAs shouldn't be allowed and asserted that the governor could not go against the Constitution. "Stealing of MLAs shouldn't be allowed. No governor can go against Constitution. We can't tell you whom we'll approach and whom not. At this juncture we've complete faith in governor that he'll go by Constitution and not party politics," he said.
MLAs who switch parties should be banned from elections for one term, says Omar Abdullah
Congress and JD(S) MLAs may sit on a dharna outside the Karnataka Raj Bhavan from Thursday if the parties are not invited by Governor Vajubhai Vala. Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said MLAs who switch parties should be banned from contesting elections for one term in order to prevent horse-trading in the event of a hung house. "Simply disqualifying defecting MLAs isn't enough to stop horse trading since most of them come back with a mandate of their newly-discovered party. They should be barred from fighting elections for a period of not less than one term," he tweeted.
Congress is famous for horsetrading: Prakash Javadekar
BJP's Prakash Javdekar called the poaching charges against BJP "baseless" and added that the Congress is famous for it. "Rs 100 crore figure is not only imaginary but it is what Congress-JDS do politics through. Their own MLAs are not happy with the alliance. We are going by rules, we have submitted our claim to the Governor, are confident of forming the govt," he added.
MLA parade on cards?
Meanwhile, sources also suggest that the Congress-JDS alliance is planning to parade its MLAs all the way to the Raj Bhavan in a show of its strength
Committed to Congress, says a party leader
They (BJP) keep on calling but we don't bother about it. I have clearly asked them not to call me. I am a committed Congress person.They have been doing this from long time. This is their job: TD Rajegowda, Congress MLA on being asked if BJP had approached him. #KarnatakaElection pic.twitter.com/xFd8VK3UnR— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
Did not ask for CM post: Kumaraswamy
Kumaraswamy also said that he has not asked for the chief ministerial post in the cabinet in exchange of support to Congress and added that he will again approach the Governor with the G Parameshwara, state Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President
Forget 'operation Kamal,' Kumaraswamy warns BJP
Adding that both the BJP and Congress approached him for alliance he said owing to his previous experience with the saffron party, he feels he has caused "damage to Deve Gowda's secular image."I have been offered from both sides. I am not saying this loosely. There's a black spot on my father's career because of my decision to go with the BJP in 2004 & 2005. So God has given me an opportunity to remove this black spot. So I am going with Congress," he said, adding that he believes that only JD(S) can stop BJP in Karnataka.
Amid report of poaching of MLAs, Kumaraswamy in a warning to the BJP said, "It will boomerang if you try operation Kamala. If you try such things we will bring twice the numbers of your MLAs into our fold." He also added that the BJP has been trying to contact JD(S) MLAs since last night. "I request the governor not to allow any horsetrading."
No alliance with BJP: Kumaraswamy
JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy reiterated his support to the Congress party and dismissed all reports of an alliance with BJP. 'We will not support BJP. There is no question of any alliance with the BJP. People don't want BJP in Karnataka. We thank people for their support,' he said, addressing the media after the legislative meet. He also claimed that the saffron party offered Rs 100 crore to JD(S) leaders to switch sides. "JD(S) MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each. Where is this black money coming from? They are supposedly the servers of poor people and they are offering money today. Where are the income tax officials?" he asked
BJP will prove its majority: Bhagwanth Khuba
When it comes to proving the majority, party has to show numbers, we will do that for sure. I can't speak openly but we will definitely prove the majority. It is BJP who was given the mandate by people: Bhagwanth Khuba, BJP #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/IG6M7Ck1OT— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
HD Kumaraswamy chosen as the JD(S) legislative party leader
HD Kumaraswamy has been chosen as the legislative party leader of the JD(S) in its party meeting in Bengaluru.
Governor Vala told me he will take appropriate decision, says BSY
After meeting the Governor, BJP's CM candidate BS Yeddyurappa said, "The party has chosen me. I have given the letter to the Governor & he will call me, that is what I am hoping. He told me that he will take an appropriate decision. I'll inform you after I receive the letter from Governor." (Express photo by Manoj Kumar)
'People want HD Kumaraswamy to be the CM'
JD(S)'A Manjunath said, "HD Kumaraswamy will be the CM and there will be a coalition government. That is the only truth. People want him to be the CM. These kinds of mechanisation will happen, but the fact is that HD Kumaraswamy will be CM. We won't be influenced by anyone."
Meanwhile, 66 out of 78 Congress MLAs reached the party's meeting in Bengaluru.
BJP leaders in touch with alliance, claims Congress' MB Patil
Congress leader MB Patil claims that few BJP leaders might shift to the alliance. "We are all together All this is false news. In fact there are 6 BJP people, who are touch with us," he said, reported ANI
Full list of winners
While the speculation of who helms the power in the state continues, here is a list of all the winners from the state. You can have a look at each constituency and see who has fared better and helped their respective party inch closer to victory. Read more
Two JD(S) MLAs skip the party meet?
Two JD(S) MLAs Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and Venkata Rao Nadagouda are reportedly missing from the party's legislative meeting in Bengaluru, says ANI
Yeddyurappa elected as BJP's legislative party leader.
BS Yeddyurappa has been elected as the BJP's legislative party leader. He is on his way to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala. He has also claimed that he will form the government tomorrow
Governor obliged to call the largest party BJP: former AG Mukul Rohatgi
"Governor is obliged to call the largest party, which is BJP. He should call BJP leader asking him if he can form govt. If he says he can't, Governor will then call the second party and if he says he can form govt, Governor should give him time to prove majority," says former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi
'We are the single largest party. You have seen how Congress & JD(S) were fighting, six months back. Now, they want to come together & make government,' BJP's Sadanand Gowda said
No question of any other decision: Kumarswamy on Congress-JD(S) alliance
Meanwhile, JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy has reaffirmed his party's support to the Congress. "We have already decided to go with Congress. That's the reason we called Janta Dal (Secular) Legislature Party meeting. There is no question of taking any other decision." he said, reported ANI. Read | Congress-JD(S) talks began Sunday, Opposition weighed in after the defeat
BJP accuses Congress of 'backdoor entry,' stake claim to government
Prakash Javadekar, BJP's observer for Karnataka along with Dharmendra Pradhan and JP Nadda arrived at BJP office in the state for a legislative party meeting. Talking to reporters outside the office Javadekar, who was also BJP's state-in-charge for Karnataka elections, accused Congress of making "backdoor entry." "People want BJP govt & we will make it. Anyone can create unnatural tensions, but people of Karnataka are with us. After meeting, we will take necessary steps," he said.
The meeting is to shortly begin. Ahead of the meet, Yeddyurappa reportedly said, 'During the legislature party meeting, the leader will be elected. From there we will go to Raj Bhavan immediately. We will claim to form the government. Most probably, we will ask the Governor to give us time tomorrow,' reported ANI. A delegation of BJP leaders had met the Governor last evening as well.
Over 10 years, three elections, how Karnataka changed colour
The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka and secured over 100 seats, mirrored its 2008 performance - the first time it formed a government in the state. In both elections, the party banked on winning big in Mumbai, Coastal and Central Karnataka. Over 10 years, victory margins in Karnataka have come down as the three-way contest between the BJP, JD(S) and Congress has intensified. A look at how the map of Karnataka has changed over the decade and during the last three polls. Read more
Congress-JD(S) to shift MLAs to resort?
Meanwhile, amid claims of MLA poaching, few media reports suggest that Congress and JD(S) is planning to shift its leaders to a resort to avoid any switching of sides. Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivamkumar when questioned about the leaders being shifted, said, "Yes definitely there is a plan. We have to safeguard our MLAs, We will let you know what is the plan," ANI reported
What are the four options before Governor Vajubhai Vala
While the suspense over who forms the government in Karnataka continues, Governor Vajubhai Vala can choose to invite any leader to form the government and prove his majority on the floor of the House.
As per the Sarkaria Commission recommendations, which were affirmed by a Constitution Bench of the SC in Rameshwar Prasad v Union of India in 2005, here are the option for the governor in case of a fractured mandate:
1. The governor can invite an alliance of parties that was formed prior to the elections.
2. The governor can invite the single largest party which stakes a claim to form the government with the support of others, including independents.
3. The governor can invite a post-electoral coalition of parties, with all the partners in the coalition joining the government.
4. The governor can invite a post-electoral alliance of parties, with some of the parties in the alliance forming a government and the remaining parties, including independents, supporting the government from outside.
The Congress cited the instances of Goa, Manipur, and Meghalaya, where the BJP outmaneuvered the single largest party Congress and formed the government. Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala on Tuesday said Governor Vajubhai Vala, had no option except to invite the new coalition, which had a “clear majority” in the House. Read more
Asked to switch sides, says Congress leader, claims was promised ministry
Congress' Amaregouda Linganagouda Patil Bayyapur, who won the election from Kushtagi, says he was contacted by the BJP and asked to switch sides. "I got a call from the BJP leaders. They said come to us and we'll give a ministry to you. We'll make you a minister," he says, reports ANI. "But, I'm going to stay here. H D Kumaraswamy is our CM."
Governor cannot take sides, has to cut previous associations: Ghulam Nabi Azad
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, meanwhile, said that Congress-JD(S) alliance will form the government as the BJP does not have enough numbers despite being the single largest party in the state. Adding that the Governor cannot take sides, Azad said, "BJP has 104, we (Congress & JDS) have 117. Governor cannot take sides. Can a person who is there to save constitution, destroy it too? The Governor has to cut all its previous associations, be it BJP or RSS."
Not approaching Congress leaders, but politics art of possibility: BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai
A BJP leader, however, dimissed Congress' allegations but added that the "politics is an art of possibility." "Political scenario will unfold in next 2-3 days. It depends on development in political parties. As of now, we aren't approaching any individuals but politics is art of possibility," BJP's Basavaraj Bommai said, reported ANI
BJP trying to poach Congress MLAs, claim party leaders
Congress leaders claim that the saffron party is trying hard to bring few Congress MLAs on BJP's side in order to imbalance the alliance. "They (BJP) are poaching our MLAs, we know that. Every day there is a lot of pressure. But it not so easy because two parties have the necessary number. People are watching this," Congress leader DK Shivakumar said. Another Congress leader, D Ramalinga Reddy added, "We believe in all our MLAs. BJP is trying hard to get them. They don't believe in democracy, BJP just wants power. All the people are happy, nobody is unhappy here."
All Congress MLAs intact, confident of forming government: Siddaramiah
Siddaramaiah, the former chief minister of Karnataka, is presiding over a party legislative meeting of both the Congress as well as JD(S) MLAs today in Bengaluru. Speaking to reporters outside the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office he said, "All the Congress MLAs are intact. Nobody is missing. We are confident of forming the government."
Ball in Governor Vajubhai Vala's court
After the results indicated a hung Assembly in Karnataka, the BJP, Congress and JD(S) — the main contenders in the elections — are scrambling to form the government. All eyes are now on the Governor, who has the discretion to invite any leader to form the government.
Rahul Gandhi thanks party workers
A big thank you to all those who voted for the Congress in these elections. We appreciate your support and will fight for you.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 15, 2018
Thank you also to our workers and leaders for their dedication & untiring hard work in support of the party.