Stung by the opposition jeers about its setback in Karnataka, the BJP said on Monday that it had staked claim in Karnataka because that was the "mandate of the people". At a press conference in the evening, party chief Amit Shah said it was the "right" of the single largest party to form the government. On Congress claims about the BJP creating a precedent in Goa and Manipur for exactly the opposite, he said the party had stepped forward in those states because the Congress didn't.
- Amit Shah slams Congress over Karnataka result, alliance with JDS
- Says outcome would've been different if MLAs weren't locked up in hotel
- Says Congress never staked claim in Manipur and Goa
In both Goa and Manipur, the Congress was unable to form government despite being the single largest party. The BJP, forming tie-ups with smaller parties, had staked claim and formed governments.
"The Congress hadn't staked claim as the single largest party in these states. We did, and the Governor had no option," Mr Shah said two days after the dramatic resignation by BS Yeddyurappa in the Karnataka assembly minutes before the scheduled trust vote.
The resignation came amid intense criticism of the role of the Governor, who had invited the BJP to form government despite it lacking majority and the Congress-JD(S) alliance claims of having it.
After Mr Yeddyurappa stepped down in a surprise move, BJP sources indicated that the directions came from the party high command, who did not want to be tainted by allegations of horse trading in an election year. There were raucous Congress claims that the BJP was trying to induce its lawmakers to change sides during the trust vote through bribery, coercion and abduction.
Mr Shah yesterday said the BJP numbers, only seven short of a majority, showed the people's will. "The right belongs to the single largest party. Had we not staked claim, it would have been against the mandate of people. That is why we staked claim," he said.
The Congress has found a new way of portraying defeat as its victory, Mr Shah said, adding that this "new definition" should continue till 2019, which would make the BJP's task easier. The upside, he mocked, was that the Congress now has faith in "constitutional bodies like Supreme Court, Election Commission and they even like EVMs".