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BJP, JD(S)-Congress stake claim to form Karnataka government

High drama unfolded in Karnataka after yesterday’s election results were declared as Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest party yet missed the half-way mark by a whisker, but Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) managed to reach out to each other and agree on a coalition proposal despite not having enough numbers individually.

It had become clear with the initial trends that BJP was all set to emerge as the single largest party and possibly even cross the majority mark. Congress and JD(S) leaders, along with members of other opposition parties, had even conceded defeat and had started congratulating BJP for the victory.

Things eventually went south for BJP later when final results were declared and they won 36% vote share with 104 seats, which is just 7 seats short of the magic number of 111. Elections for two of total 224 seats were postponed by the Election Commission after fake voter IDs were found. Polls for these seats will be held later this month.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leaders immediately reached out to JD(S) party supremo HD Deve Gowda and his son Kumaraswamy to negotiate an alliance to keep BJP out. Right after Sonia Gandhi was said to have telephoned the two JD(S) leaders, Congress party’s Ghulam Nabi Azad declared that the parties had reached an agreement to form a government to be led by Kumaraswamy.

BJP’s Yeddyurappa and JD(S)’s Kumaraswamy have both reached out to Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala to stake claim in forming the government. While BJP says it is the single largest party and so it should be allowed to form the government and then prove majority in the assembly, JD(S) has argued that it has the required numbers with Congress on board and so it should be invited by the governor.