Tuesday saw a high drama befitting the most important political battle of 2018. A few hours into counting of votes in the Karnataka Assembly elections, when it looked that the BJP could grab 100-plus seats, the Congress made a stunning announcement – of offering unconditional support to the Janata Dal (Secular) and staking claim to form a coalition government. An outsmarted BJP also declared it will stake claim to form the next government given that it has emerged as the single largest party.
The drama moved on to Wednesday with the spotlight firmly on the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru and everyone keenly watching who Governor Vajubhai Vala will call for the floor test. BJP’s chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa met the Governor this morning. Congress and JD(S), which went to the Raj Bhavan last evening, arrived to meet the Governor this evening as well but were not allowed to parade their MLAs. All through the day, accusations of horse-trading flew thick and fast.
All that has happened since the Karnataka Election results were declared:
* Ending all speculations, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Wednesday evening invited the BJP to form the government. The BJP which emerged as the single largest party in the elections has been given 15 days time to prove majority in the floor of the house. The BJP has won 104 seats in the elections. The governor’s move will be a setback for the JD(S)-Congress alliance that has approached the governor with the signature of 115 MLAs.
* The drama over government formation in Karnataka intensified on Wednesday evening with a BJP MLA tweeting that the governor has invited his party to form the government. The BJP for Karnataka official twitter handle also tweeted the same but within a few minutes both the tweets were deleted.
* Congress and JD(S) took their MLAs to the Raj Bhavan at 5pm Wednesday. However, Governor Vajubhai Vala rejected their demand to parade MLAs to buttress their claim of having enough numbers to form the next government.
* Earlier, B S Yeddyurappa met the Governor Wednesday morning. In a presser later, he said: “I met the Governor and handed over letters of support that we have. He told me he will take the appropriate decision as early as possible.”
*ANI reported only 66 out of the 78 MLAs were present at the Congress legislative meeting held at KPCC office in Bengaluru. Congress, however, said some MLAs were delayed as they took a special flight from Bidar.
*JD(S) president H D Kumaraswamy is elected leader of JD(S) legislature party. In a press conference, he said his MLAs were being offered Rs 100 crore and cabinet ranks. BJP’s Prakash Javadekar rejected the charges as ‘imaginary’.
* Congress’ Amaregouda Linganagouda Patil Bayyapur, who won the election from Kushtagi, says he was contacted by the BJP and asked to switch sides, ANI reported.
* Siddaramaiah said the Governor has to invite the JD(S)-Congress to form the government as they have the support of 117 MLAs. “PM Modi is encouraging horse-trading. We are all united,” he said on claims of dissent in the party.
* ANI quoting sources said if Congress-JD(S) were not invited by the Governor, then their MLAs will sit on a ‘dharna’ outside Raj Bhavan from tomorrow. MPs may also join them. As of now, Congress and JDS have taken their MLAs to the Raj Bhavan.
* When asked if Congress would take the legal recourse, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told ANI: “At this juncture, we’ve complete faith in the Governor that he will go by the Constitution and not party politics.”
*BJP’s central leadership had on Tuesday rushed leaders J P Nadda, Dharmendra Pradhan and Prakash Javadekar to Bengaluru. P Muralidhar Rao, in-charge of Karnataka who had come to Delhi Monday, also returned to the state after meeting Amit Shah
*After the results, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “I want to assure the people of Karnataka that the BJP will not allow the state’s development journey to be trampled upon”.
*As many as 18 ministers of the Siddaramaiah government were defeated. The Chief Minister himself lost one of the two seats he contested by a wide margin.
*The BJP won 16 of 19 seats in coastal Karnataka as against four in 2013, and 30 of 50 seats in the Mumbai Karnataka region where it won only 13 last time.
*Over a year ago, the BJP had formed governments in Manipur and Goa despite not being the single largest party in the polls. Much like BJP now, Congress had then cried foul and termed it ‘murder of democracy’.