Karnataka Delivers Cliffhanger And It Isn't Anywhere Near Over: 10 Facts
Karnataka election result: The BJP has emerged the single largest party, but is short of an outright majority. The JDS with Congress support and the BJP have both staked claim to form the next government
Karnataka election results: As BJP falls short of majority, Congress extends support to JDS
Bengaluru, Karnataka: The BJP and the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) will return to governor Vajubhai Vala tomorrow to stake claim to form the next government in Karnataka. The BJP has emerged the single largest party but is short of an outright majority. The party's BS Yeddyurappa met the governor earlier this evening and asked for a chance to prove his majority. The Janata Dal Secular (JDS), which finished third, also told the governor it would form the government with Congress support. The Congress arrived at an understanding with former prime minister Deve Gowda's regional party and agreed to give "unconditional support" to his son HD Kumaraswamy as Chief Minister of a coalition government. What happens next depends entirely on the governor who was appointed by the centre four years ago.
Here is the 10-point cheatsheet on Karnataka election results 2018:
After the Congress's defeat, its president Rahul Gandhi, his mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi met at his home. Sources say the party authorised senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to phone Deve Gowda and allegedly reached this deal: his son, HD Kumaraswamy, will be Chief Minister of a coalition government.
Mr Kumaraswamy met the governor to stake claim to form the government at 5.30 pm, which, according to his aides, was carefully chosen to avoid the inauspicious "Rahu Kalam".
The BJP's BS Yeddyurappa, who met the governor earlier, said Mr Vala must call the single largest party. "Karnataka has given the mandate of Congress-free Karnataka. The Congress is trying to come back to power through the back-door and people of Karnataka will not tolerate it," he told reporters.
It is up to Governor Vala to decide who will get first shot at proving their strength - the BJP or the Congress-Gowda team. Mr Yeddyurappa and Mr Kumaraswamy are set to seek a second round of meetings with the governor after their respective legislature parties formally elect them leaders.
The Congress argues that an alliance with a majority should be invited first. Last year, Union Minister Arun Jaitley had tweeted: "In a hung assembly, if majority of the elected MLAs form a coalition, the governor would be constitutionally right in inviting the leader of the majority coalition to form the government and prove their majority within a short period." In March last year, the Congress was the single largest party but couldn't form the government after the Goa election.
The BJP, however, isn't the only one to change its stand. Amit Malviya of the BJP hit back, pulling out Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala's tweets from around the same time. In these, Mr Surjewala had insisted that the Goa government should have given the Congress, the single largest party, the first chance to prove its majority.
The Congress' Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was voted out today, split from the JDS over a decade ago and the acrimony between him and Mr Gowda remains unmitigated. The two politicians, however, put their differences on pause. "We have the required numbers... 117, required number is 111," Siddaramaiah said. Mr Kumaraswamy, who was standing next to him, said the "secular forces" had come together to keep the BJP out.
However, as a series of opinion and exit polls forecast a fractured election results, the Congress made it clear that it would be open to sacrificing Mr Siddaramaiah if needed to team with the JDS.
Mr Siddaramaiah himself appeared to have accepted his being turfed out, stating that this was his last election and that he would accept his party's decision to replace him with a Dalit as head of the state if needed.