In Karnataka, BJP Falls Short Of Majority, Congress Extends Support To JD (S)

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New Delhi:With the BharatiyaJanata Party falling short of majority by eight MLA in the Karnataka election, the political theatre in the state just drastically opened up in a matter of hours. If early leads in the assembly election results suggested a clear win for the BJP, enabling it to form a majority government, final results are an anti-climax for them with eluding majority. The Congress has used this gap and extended support to the Janata Dal (Secular) with an offer of the chief minister’s post.

Here is what could happen in Bengaluru:

1. JD(S)-Congress government: With the second and third-largest parties coming together, at 3:15 pm, the Congress and JD(S) make it to 115 seats (EC data; out of the 222 seats which went to polls -- polling for two seats will be held later). This makes it the largest combine in the house. Together, they can stake claim to form the government, submit a list of signatures of all MLAs to the governor VajubhaiVala, and on that basis, the governor could invite the JD(S) legislative party leader -- which will in all likelihood be HD Kumaraswamy -- to form the government and prove his majority on the floor of the house.

2. BJP government: The BJP is clearly the single-largest party in the Karnataka assembly. The BJP leader of the assembly, which will, in all likelihood be BS Yeddyuruppa, could stake the claim to form the government. The governor may decide that since the BJP is the single largest force, it deserves the first chance.

Once Yeddyuruppa is sworn in, he will have to prove his majority on the floor of the house. In this scenario, it will be instructive to watch if the JD(S)-Congress coalition can stay together, or if a section of JD(S) splits and moves away to BJP, or if a section abstains. In the second and third situation, if BJP can win over a section of the MLAs from JD(s) and independents, the party is through.

3. BJP-JD(S) government: Given that the JD(S) is the key swing force, tables may turn if the BJP decides to make a corresponding offer to the JD(S). This could be of a rotational chief ministership; it could entail plum portfolios at the centre besides a stake at the level of the state. While this is not the most likely scenario at the moment, it cannot be ruled out entirely.

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