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Karnataka Election Results: Congress and BJP stake claim, all eyes on governor

18 Mai 2018

There will now nearly certainly be a bidding war, which could lead to a holiday for MLAs who, as often happens in state polls, may be virtually locked up in comfortable holiday locations (see below) without mobile and internet connections to keep them away from rival parties.

Modi's victory in Karnataka, where he led his party's campaign, showed he remains the top vote-getter in Indian politics, leaving Rahul Gandhi, the young leader of the main opposition Congress party, struggling.

Echoing a similar stance, another Congress leader, Ramalinga Reddy, also claimed that the BJP was "trying hard" to get his party MLAs on their side. Neither BJP nor Congress nor JD (S) have got numbers to form the government. The JD-S won nine. "As no party has got majority, there are many developments happening". This year, the BJP decimated the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Tripura and victorious supporters celebrated by knocking down a statue of Lenin statue. "That's why the Karnataka government wants to tap our phones and listen to what we talk about the leaders and with our leaders", she added. A lot of people are angry within the JD (S) and within the Congress. "I am going to meet the governor with the state Congress president and formally stake claim to form the government", he said.

All eyes are now on Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala, who will have to invite one of these parties to form the government in the state. There are no smaller political parties that can be enticed to cross over and just two Independents of whom one has signed the support letter submitted to the Governor.

The BJP has emerged as the biggest party with 104 elected legislators in the recently concluded elections. 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.

Congress, which lost control of the national government to Modi in 2014, is desperate to cling on to Karnataka, its last major bastion after being defeated in some 12 state elections since the last national poll.

The Congress and the JD-S, who formed a hurriedly stitched post-poll alliance after a hung assembly verdict to claim a majority of 116 members in the new assembly, called the Governor's decision "unconstitutional".

In a letter to Rajnath Singh, union minister of home affairs, Karandlaje has asserted, "Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Privacy are fundamental rights of any citizen as enshrined in the Constitution".

"No party has a majority.Congress has made a decision to support the JD (S)", said outgoing CM and Congress leader Siddaramaiah from Bengaluru.

Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala was the speaker of the Gujarat assembly and finance minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet when the latter was the chief minster of the state.

The Congress and the JD (S) have a history of tripping each other up politically, although the JD (S) has not done a very good job of keeping its word to the BJP either. Later in the day, Congress leaders Gulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, party in-charge in the state KC Venugopal along with KPCC president G Parameshwar held a closed-door meeting.

Karnataka Election Results: Congress and BJP stake claim, all eyes on governor