The results of the closely-contested Karnataka Assembly elections have sent the politicos in state in a tizzy.With the BJP emerging as the single largest party but falling short of a clear majority, efforts were on in state to woo Janata Dal (Secular) to form the government. For now, the Congress seems to have emulated the precedent set by the BJP in previous elections. The party has quickly stitched a post-poll alliance with JD(S) to keep BJP out of power, much like what the saffron party did in Goa and Manipur elections.
The Karnataka Assembly election results threw up an unexpected suspense today, as a simple majority tantalisingly eluded BJP and the Congress quickly proclaimed support to third-placed JD(S) to keep the saffron party out of power .
While a clear majority would have put this question beyond the pale of doubt, the BJP’s emergence as the single-largest party still does not dent the party’s position as favourites to win another tenure at the Centre.
All eyes are now on Governor Vajubhai Vala who will have to decide whether to call BJP, the single largest winner of seats, to try to form the government or go with the JD(S)-Congress combine, which together have a clear majority in the 224-member Assembly.
Elections were held for 222 seats on May 12.
Both sides rushed to meet Vala, their vehicles slowly cutting through the throngs of party workers and supporters assembled outside the Raj Bhavan gates, and staked claim to power.
Addressing BJP workers in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who undertook a vigorous campaign, hailed the party’s win in Karnataka as “unparalleled and unprecedented”.
The BJP bagged 104 seats, a gain of 64 , while the Congress notched 78, a loss of 44 seats, though its vote share was nearly two percentage points more than the saffron party.
The JD(S) secured 37 seats, down by three from its previous tally.
“We have all together discussed and decided this.This is the opinion of the All India Congress party. Congress will support JD(S) because there is a hung Assembly situation here as no party has been given clear majority by the people,” outgoing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters after submitting his resignation.
Congress Leaders Siddaramaiah, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjuna Kharge along with JD(S) state Chief H D Kumaraswamy met Vala and submitted a letter seeking an opportunity to form the government.
All India Congress party leaders after discussion have given a letter to our party president extending support.on behalf our party, along with Congress leaders we have asked governor seeking an opportunity to form the government with the support of Congress, also two independent MLAs, Kumaraswamy, the alliance’s chief ministerial candidate,said.
Yeddyurappa met the Governor and staked claim to form the government, slamming the move of the Congress-JDS combine as an attempt to come back to power through back door.BJP has emerged as the single largest party, we have requested the governor to give us an opportunity to prove our majority on the floor of the assembly,” Yeddyurappa told reporters after meeting Vala along with Union minister Ananth Kumar.
A sombre-looking Yeddyurappa said the people of Karnataka had rejected the Siddaramaiah government lock, stock and barrel”.
The usual practice is for the governor to call the leader of the single largest party or pre-poll alliance to form the government, and in the event of a hung Assembly, asks him to prove the majority on the floor of the House.
Since the Congress and JD(S) did not have a pre-poll alliance, it remains to be seen if he invites Kumaraswamy to form the government.
At least 10 ministers fell by the wayside as they lost their seats in an anti-incumbency wave.
Siddaramaiah himself lost by a huge margin of 36,042 votes in his traditional constituency of Chamundeshwari in Mysuru to JDS’ G T Deve Gowda.
He, however, managed to scrape through in Badami in north Karnataka, where he won by a slender margin of 1,696 votes after a see-saw battle against BJP’s B Sriramulu, a close associate of the mining baron Reddy brothers.
Yeddyurappa won the Shikaripura seat by a margin of over 35,000 votes while Kumaraswamy won convincingly in both Channapatna and Ramanagara.
Congress’ unconditional support to JD(S) comes notwithstanding the fact that Congress president Rahul Gandhi had on several times accused JD(S) of being the B-team of the BJP during the electoral campaign.Moreover, the Congress has decided to relinquish the chief ministerial post for JD(S)’ HD Kumaraswamy despite emerging as the second largest party.
However, as has been proven in the past, there is many a slip between the cup and the lip in democracy. While the JD(S) has said it will stick to its claims that Kumaraswamy will be chief minister, Congress has said it will work to keep communal forces out of power. The BJP on the other hand has cried foul stating that Karnataka had voted for change.
With both the Congress-JD(S) combine and the BJP deciding to stake claim before the Governor to form the government, here are the reactions from political leaders on the verdict.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday thanked voters in Karnataka for steadfastly supporting the BJP’s development agenda and making it the single largest party.I thank my sisters and brothers of Karnataka for steadfastly supporting the BJP’s development agenda and making BJP the single largest party in the state.I salute the stupendous work of @BJP4Karnataka (state party unit) karyakartas who toiled round the clock and worked for the party,” he said in a tweet.
The Left parties, which have criticised the BJP for forming governments even after not getting a majority in Goa and Manipur, hoped that the Governor takes the constitutional way of installing a government that has a majority on paper.The BJP is perfecting the art of losing elections and forming governments. It has become the trademark or USP of the ruling party,” CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury.
Assembly election, the poll outcome would have been “very different”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday.Congratulations to the winners of Karnataka polls. Those who lost, fight back.According to the latest trends, the BJP is leading in 113 constituencies, the number required for a simple majority in the Assembly.If Congress had gone into an alliance with JD (S), the results would have been different, very different,Banerjee tweeted.
The ruling Congress is ahead in 53 seats, while former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular) is leading in 37 constituencies.
Ram Vilas Paswan:
The results of Karnataka Assembly election are a “big setback” to Rahul Gandhi as the face of Congress and the opposition, Lok Janshakti Party president and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Tuesday.What could be the future of a person if he has no present. Unless the opposition or its alliance partners accept him (Gandhi), there is no future (for him) and now everyone is holding him responsible for the defeat in Karnataka and accusing him of not taking them onboard,” Mr. Paswan told reporters.Asserting that the mandate is in favour of the BJP in Karnataka, he expressed confidence that it will form government in the state.I have full faith that the BJP will form the new government in Karnataka as it has mandate in the state,” he said.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday asked the BJP not to give sermons on morality after the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) agreed to form a government in Karnataka.Is it not a fact that the mandate was against the BJP in Bihar in 2015? But the BJP with the help of Nitish Kumar became the ruling party last year. And it is today giving sermons on moral and ethical values in democracy,” Mr. Yadav told media persons.
Defence Minister,Nirmala Sitharaman said people of Karnataka have rejected the “divisive, toxic and very negative” politics of Congress and voted for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development thrust.The divisive, toxic and the very, very negative politics of the Congress party has been completely rejected and for which we owe a very big thank you to people of Karnataka. They did not go by the kind of polarisation the Congress wanted,” the BJP leader said.
Karnataka has played an important role in realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of a Congress-free India.We are moving in this direction.We believe that the two remaining states too will soon be free of Congress,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said.
The election results in Karnataka proved once again that people of this country favour the “together with all, development for all” mantra of the BJP over the “casteist and divisive politics” of the Congress , Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das said.
The CM attributed the party’s “tremendous performance” in Karnataka assembly polls to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah and the people of the state.
After a record 72.13 per cent voter turnout, the Election Commission announced that the Congress notched 38 per cent of votes as against BJP’s 36.2 per cent. JD(S), headed by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, got 18.4 per cent votes.