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Karnataka govt formation highlights: Cong, JDS move SC, floor test to decide the fate of state

Congress-JDS alliance, Karnataka election results 2018 LIVE: HD Kumaraswamy could well be made chief minister if the Governor invites the alliance to form government in the state.

Written by Nishant Shekhar | Bengaluru | Updated: May 17, 2018 12:44:23 pm
Congress-JDS alliance in Karnataka LIVE: Kumaraswamy warns BJP against horsetrading, says 'Operation Kamal' will boomerang BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy

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).

Read | While you were asleep: Here’s how the Karnataka battle unfolded in SC

Click here for Karnataka Assembly Election results LIVE Updates | Click here for full list of winners in Karnataka Election Results

Live Blog

Here are the highlights on Congress-JDS alliance in Karnataka. We bring you fastest and real-time updates in Malayalam, Bengali and Tamil.

18:51 (IST)16 May 2018
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.

17:48 (IST)16 May 2018
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.

17:18 (IST)16 May 2018
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)

16:57 (IST)16 May 2018
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.

16:41 (IST)16 May 2018
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. 

16:04 (IST)16 May 2018
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.

15:56 (IST)16 May 2018
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.

15:55 (IST)16 May 2018
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.

14:28 (IST)16 May 2018
14:01 (IST)16 May 2018
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.

13:48 (IST)16 May 2018
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

13:18 (IST)16 May 2018
Committed to Congress, says a party leader
13:01 (IST)16 May 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

12:45 (IST)16 May 2018
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."

12:27 (IST)16 May 2018
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

12:22 (IST)16 May 2018
BJP will prove its majority: Bhagwanth Khuba
12:08 (IST)16 May 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.

11:50 (IST)16 May 2018
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)

11:46 (IST)16 May 2018
'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."

11:41 (IST)16 May 2018

Meanwhile, 66 out of 78 Congress MLAs reached the party's meeting in Bengaluru. 

It has been a dramatic twist of events in the Karnataka Assembly election results. In the first few hours of counting it appeared that the BJP would emerge not just as the single largest party but with a majority. However, its numbers slowly began reducing and at around 5 pm hovered around 105, eight short of crossing the halfway mark.

In the afternoon, the Congress announced that it was forming an alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular) and that it would offer its unconditional support to the party. Senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters that he had a word with Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy and that they have agreed to form government.

Kumaraswamy, too, confirmed the development and wrote a letter to Governor Vajubhai Vala seeking an appointment at 5.30 pm as he had the required numbers.

The BJP, not wanting to be left out, has rushed to Raj Bhavan with Yeddyurappa claiming he has an appointment with the Governor at 5 pm. Follow this LIVE blog as we bring you the latest updates from Bengaluru.

Karnataka Election Results 2018 - Follow The Indian Express live coverage on Congress-JDS Government Alliance in Karnataka and real-time updates at indianexpress.com