STUNG IN GOA AND MANIPUR, CONGRESS OUTSMARTS BJP IN KARNATAKA

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In Goa and Manipur last year, though Congress had emerged the single largest party after the Assembly polls, BJP successfully rushed to the states much before the lazy Congress could get up and forged an alliance of smaller parties and Independents and formed governments.

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 104 seats has emerged as the single largest party in the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018, it is still short of the halfway mark of 112. On the other hand, the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) have bagged 78 and 37 seats respectively, giving the two a total of 115 which is well above the halfway mark. Besides, the alliance also has the support of an Independent who was backed by Congress and it can count lone MLA of Bahujan Samaj Party also on its side. The elections were held for 222 seats.

Despite a good show in the Karnataka elections, using full force and a strong battery of senior leaders and eminent Hindutva leaders including Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself in the campaign, BJP did not succeed in getting the simple majority to form the government in the state.

Regrettably the celebrations of jubilant BJP workers and party leaders remained half-way as JD-S, led by former prime minister Deve Gowda, and Congress agreed to an alliance to form the government.

The Congress, despite being bruised in an election it had hoped to win, could get only 78 seats, around 50 seats less from the 2013 polls and the JD-S succeeded in 37 constituencies — just three short of its tally of 2013.

Independents and smaller parties would bag three seats.

Apprehensive of the likelihood of a hung Assembly as several exit polls had forecast on 12thMay evening and stung twice by the saffron party – first in Goa and then in Manipur – the Congress had flown its senior leaders to Bengaluru day before the counting. And the strategy worked. Beforehand, the Congress and JD-S leaders made up an understanding about a possible alliance in case of hung Assembly to keep BJP out of power.

After a clearer picture of the results emerged Tuesday noon, Congress General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, accompanied by outgoing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, told the media in the state capital that the JD-S had accepted the Congress offer of support. Though Congress has got around 40 seats more than JD-S did, the Grand Old Party of India decided to play the role of a junior.

JD-S leader H.D. Kumaraswamy will be the party’s candidate for the Karnataka Chief Minister’s post, it announced on Tuesday.

“We will meet the Governor and stake claim (to form a government),” he said. “Our numbers put together will be more than the BJP’s.” Later in the evening, leaders from both parties met the governor and staked claim to form government.

“It is crystal clear that it will be Kumaraswamy for the Chief Minister’s post. With the blessings of the people of Karnataka, he will be the Chief Minister,” JD-S spokesperson Danish Ali told a news channel.

Asked if Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Valal can invite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which emerged as the single largest party to form the government, he said: “How can (Governor call the BJP) when majority is there with the two parties?

“In Meghalaya, they didn’t invite the single largest party,” he said.

Asked if the post of Deputy Chief Minister will be offered to the Congress, Ali said the party will ask the Congress to join the government.

“All those details will be discussed later on. Both the parties have come together and we will provide a stable government,” he said.

In Goa and Manipur last year, though Congress had emerged the single largest party after the Assembly polls, BJP successfully rushed to the states much before the lazy Congress could get up and forged an alliance of smaller parties and Independents and formed governments.–With inputs from IANS

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