Justifying BJP’s bid to form the government in Karnataka, party chief Amit Shah on Monday said it would have been against the mandate of the southern state if they had not done it. “The mandate given by people of Karnataka was against Congress. There was no confusion about it. If we had not staked claim to form govt, it would have been against the mandate of Karnataka’s people,” Shah said while addressing a press conference in party office in New Delhi.
The BJP president also dismissed the opposition’s argument that the Congress was not given the opportunity to form the government in Goa and Manipur despite emerging as the single largest party in both the states.
“The Manipur example is often being cited. I want to make it clear in Manipur we went first to stake claim to form government. Congress kept on taking time. In Goa and Manipur – both states Congress wasn’t the first party to stake claim. Governor invited BJP since we were the second largest party and claimed first,” Shah said.
Karnataka assembly polls, held on May 12, threw up a fractured verdict, with the BJP emerged as the single-largest party in the Karnataka polls winning 104 seats. However, the saffron party fell short of a simple majority.
The Congress, which finished second with 78 seats, moved swiftly and stitched an alliance with the 37-member JD(S). They staked claim to form the government but were not invited by the governor.
B S Yeddyurappa, who was invited by the Governor to form the government and was sworn-in as CM, however, announced his resignation as CM ahead of a trust vote in the Karnataka assembly, paving the way for the Governor to call a JD(S)-Congress coalition led by former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to form the new government in Karnataka.
Shah also asked the Congress to explain to the people of Karnataka why they were celebrating even when most of their ministers had lost election. “Only Congress and JD(S) are celebrating, people of Karnataka are not (celebrating),” he told reporters.
Taking a swipe at the rival party, Shah said the Congress has found a new way of portraying defeat as its victory, adding that he hopes this new definition of victory continues till 2019 as it will benefit the BJP.
“Congress is now starting to have faith in constitutional bodies like Supreme Court, Election Commission and they even like EVMs,” Shah said and voiced hope that it continues even when the Congress loses and is unable to form the government.
The BJP also claimed that the Congress lawyer lied in the Supreme Court that BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa had sought seven days time from the Governor to prove majority in the House. Shah also mocked the newly-formed alliance as already destabilised, claiming that is why MLAs are still closed in the hotel rooms.
Countering the BJP chief’s charges, Congress leader Anand Sharma said Amit Shah does not respect the Constitution. “I don’t think Amit Shah has knowledge of or respects the Constitution. Even if he has the knowledge of the Constitution, he doesn’t respect it,” he said.