Wednesday, May 16, 2018

After "Missing MLAs" Scare, Congress, JD(S) Leaders Meet Governor

Both the BJP and JD(S) hope to get the first shot at government formation after the Karnataka assembly polls threw up a fractured verdict After 'Missing MLAs' Scare, Congress, JD(S) Leaders Meet Governor: 10 Facts

NEW DELHI:  Leaders of the Congress and the Janata Dal Secular are meeting Governor Vajubhai Vala to stake claim to form the next government in Karnataka. The Congress has planned go to the Supreme Court if the Governor's decision is in favour of the BJP, sources in the party said after BS Yeddyurappa, prospective BJP chief minister, met him today.

With 104 seats, the BJP is eight short of majority in the 224-seat assembly, but claims it will have the numbers. JD(S) chief HD Kumaraswamy said the BJP tried to poach on his partymen, offering them Rs. 100 crore and cabinet berths.

After the scare over missing lawmakers in the morning, the Congress and the JD(S) took all their lawmakers in a bus for the meeting with the Governor. Party leaders have indicated that they will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to convince the Governor that they have the numbers.

The ball is in the court of Governor Vajubhai Vala who alone can take a call on whom to invite to form the government. After meeting him in the morning, BJP's BS Yeddyurappa said the Governor had assured that a decision will be made "after seeing all possibilities".

JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy has alleged that the BJP had been trying to indulge in horse-trading. "They promised people in my party 100 crores in cash and cabinet posts," he told reporters, adding that 32 of his lawmakers have been approached by the party.

The Congress has decided to approach the Supreme Court in case the Governor decides to invite the BJP to form government. There is also a plan B - approaching President Ram Nath Kovind for redressal. The JD(S) had earlier threatened they will hold a sit-down strike outside the Governor's House in case he refused to meet them.

Senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar has rubbished Mr Kumaraswami's allegations. Asked how the BJP plans to achieve majority, he said, "It would happen in the natural course of things... Many lawmakers are upset with the unethical marriage of convenience between the Congress and the JD(S)".

An Independent lawmaker offered support to the BJP this morning, taking the party's tally from 104 to 105. The Congress won in 78 constituencies, the JD(S) and its pre-poll ally BSP have 38 seats.

The Congress earlier said one of its lawmakers, Anand Singh, is missing. He is said to be close to Reddy brothers, the mining barons from Bellary. The two parties are now planning to move their lawmakers to a resort.

"The Supreme Court has said the first party to give the majority will come to power. Even though the BJP is the single largest party, they don't have the numbers required to form majority. They are 104 while we are 117. The Governor can't be partial as that will be unconstitutional," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

After being heavily outnumbered by the BJP during the counting of votes yesterday, the Congress showed political dexterity and struck a deal with the JD(S). The party has offered unconditional support to a government headed by JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy.

The BJP contends that it should be allowed to form the government as it is the single largest party. The Congress disputes the claim, citing the precedent set by the BJP in Goa and Manipur last year. In both states, the Congress had emerged the single largest party but the BJP cobbled up alliances and was invited to form the government.-NDTV

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