Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Kumaraswamy accuses BJP of offering Rs 100 crore each to his MLAs

Supporters of BJP candidate from Mangaluru south D Vedavyas Kamath celebrate his victory. M Raghuram/101Reporters Supporters of BJP candidate from Mangaluru south D Vedavyas Kamath celebrate his victory. M Raghuram/101Reporters
Deanna Wagner | 18 May, 2018, 18:56

The BJP, which appeared confident of returning to power in its only southern bastion, emerged as the single largest party but failed to cross the half-way mark in the 224-member Assembly where two constituencies didn't vote on Saturday. I heard he asked for seven days, but the Governor gave 15 days. "We will let you know about the plan in time", Shivakumar informed the media today.

Together Congress and the JDS have a total of 114 seats, which is more than the BJP's 104, and the two parties' leaders rushed to lodge claims to form the government with the state's governor, Vajubhai Vala, a BJP appointee who vacated his Gujarat parliamentary seat for Narendra Modi in 2001.

"I am sure being the single largest party we have the rightful democratic claim on forming the government and the Governor is definitely going to respect the claim", he told IANS here on Tuesday.

And we are told by the parties which have come a distant second and third that this post-poll alliance is to keep communal forces out of power in Karnataka and that the CM's position is, therefore, being given to the leader of the third-placed entity which is called the Janata Dal Secular (JD-S). Mayawati, sources said, subsequently spoke to Sonia and suggested that Congress extend support to JD (S) to which she agreed. Now it is for the governor to decide who he will invite as the next chief minister of the state.

Dr. AM Singhvi, arguing on behalf of the Congress, said, "As per the Sarkaria Commission Guidelines, largest party or group of parties should be first to be invited by Governor".

The Congress has 78 MLAs in the new Assembly, which is yet to be formally constituted.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also cried foul and alleged the BJP was trying to split its newly elected MLAs, but asserted it would fail in the endeavour. After meeting the governor Kumaraswamy said that they have submitted a list of 117 MLAs to the governor and requested him to consider their claim to form the government. The speed with which Congress agreed to support former PM's Janata Dal (S) is being read as its keenness to do whatever it can to prevent BJP from gaining and other opposition leaders see this as possible leverage.

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"We expect the governor to listen to the mandate of the people".

Kumaraswamy said all the JD (S) MLAs "are in tact with us".

The post poll result scenario in Karnataka has thrown the Congress into a situation where it has suddenly found new dexterity to combat the onslaught of the BJP.

The BJP fielded candidates linked to the corruption-hit mining industry that led to a scandal when the party was last in government, centred on the Reddy brothers, one of whom was a BJP minister.

Both the BJP and the Congress have said they will form the state government in an election where much is at stake for them. But the results show that in these seats, Congress got 38% votes while BJP got 40.6%.

"The BJP has tried to contact all our legislators", said Karnataka JD (S) chief H.D.Kumaraswamy, adding that if the BJP started "horse-trading", then the JD (S) would stoop to their level and pocket twice the number from the opponent's camp.