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Karnataka govt formation: Congress-JD(S) claim support of 118 MLAs, updates

JD(S) MLAs are being offered Rs 100 cr (Rs 1 bn) each. Where is this black money coming from? They are supposedly the servers of poor people and they are offering money today, says H D Kumaraswamy

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

karnataka election, congress
Congress MLAs to leave for Raj Bhavan from Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office

Union minister Prakash Javadekar today rubbished JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy's charge that the BJP was offering Rs 1 billion to wean away his party MLAs in its bid to form a government in Karnataka, saying it is "imaginary". "Rs 100 crore, Rs 200 crore figures are imaginary. The BJP is not doing anything. This is the kind of politics the JD(S) and Congress play," he said. The union minister also accused the Congress and JD(S) of having come together by "unholy means."

Javadekar, who is in the state as the BJP makes an aggressive bid to come to the power after the poll results threw up a hung assembly, said his party was not in the practice of horsetrading and exuded confidence it will form the next government. "We are not in the habit of horsetrading of any kind and therefore we are going by the rule book, and we are forming the government. "That is our confidence. We have already met the Governor (Vajubhai Vala) and submitted our plea and we are very sure to form the government, a very stable government," he added.

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. As the results of the poll in the state have left Karnataka Assembly in hung, the final decision will be taken by Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala. What to watch out for in Karnataka government formation:

* JD(S) and Congress to meet Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala. * HD Kumaraswamy leads delegation to Raj Bhawan to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala and claims support of 118 MLAs.
Here are the top 10 developments around the Karnataka Assembly election 2018 results and the race between the BJP and the Congress-JD(S) combine to form the next state government: 1. Omar Abdullah wants political turncoats to be banned: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said MLAs who switch parties should be banned from contesting elections for one term in order to prevent horsetrading in the event of a hung house. He was apparently referring to the post-poll situation in Karnataka where the BJP has staked claim to form the government despite being seven short of simple majority. 2. Javadekar trashes Kumaraswamy's Rs 100-cr charge as 'imaginary': Union minister Prakash Javadekar today rubbished JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy's charge that the BJP was offering Rs 100 crore to wean away his party MLAs in its bid to form a government in Karnataka, saying it is "imaginary". "Rs 100 crore, Rs 200 crore figures are imaginary. The BJP is not doing anything. This is the kind of politics the JD(S) and Congress play," he told reporters. 3. The ball is now in the Governor's court: The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the state, fell nine seats shy of the 112-seat majority mark in the 224-seat Assembly. While the BJP won 104 seats, the Congress-JD(S) combine bagged 115 seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party won a eat each, while an independent candidate won one. While both the BJP and the Congress-JD(S) combine have staked claim to form the next state government, it remains to be seen who will get an invitation to do so from Governor Vajubhai Vala. Both sides are set to hold another round of meeting with the Governor today. Meanwhile, outgoing Karnataka chief minister, Siddaramaiah, has called for a meeting of the newly elected MLAs of the Congress and JD(S) today, ANI reported. ALSO READ: Single largest party in Karnataka will form govt: BJP National VP 4. BJP reaches out to JD(S): The BJP on Wednesday reached out to the JD(S) and offered H D Kumaraswamy the CM's post, in an attempt to form the next government in the state, sources told ETnow. BJP is just 9 seats short of the half-way mark, while the JD(S) has 37 seats in the 224-member Assembly. A day before, the Congress had offered support to JD(S) and chief ministership to Kumaraswamy. The JD(S) had accepted the offer. While it remains to be seen which of the BJP and Congress will come to power, it looks almost certain that the JD(S) would be part of the ruling coalition. Also, it looks imminent that Kumaraswamy would be the next CM -- either with the Congress support or with the BJP's. ALSO READ: Despite lowest vote share in 20 yrs, JDS well placed to lead Karnataka 5. EC cleared Hubli Dharwad poll results after mismatch in votes: The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday cleared the poll result of Karnataka's Hubli Dharwad Assembly constituency which was held up because of a mismatch of actual votes cast and votes reflected on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). The Bharatiya Janata Party's Jagadish Shettar has emerged as the winner from the constituency. "If there is difference between EVM count and paper slip count, paper slip count prevails. Winning margin in Hubli Dharwad Constituency is more than 20,000 and VVPAT slips counted in polling station no 135 A is only 459.

Hence Returning Officer declared Jagadish Shettar as the winner," read an official statement as reported by ANI. Shettar, who was Karnataka Chief Minister from 2012-13, is now the clear winner over Congress candidate Mahesh Nalwad. 6. Sensex swings 500 points on Karnataka verdict; rupee weakens to 68: The benchmark Sensex swung nearly 500 points from the day's high after a fractured mandate leaving BJP as the single largest party and the Congress and JD(S) coming together to form a coalition. The index had surged to a three-month high of 35,994 as early trends showed the BJP was going for a clear majority in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly. The Sensex closed at 35,544, down 13 points from the previous day's close, and 450 points off the day's high. The Nifty ended at 10,802, after climbing to 10,929. Both the indices were about one per cent short of the all-time highs they had touched in late January. Apart from the political uncertainty that popped up after the Karnataka poll results, worsening domestic macro conditions also affected the investor sentiment. The rupee weakened to Rs 68 against the dollar for the first time in 16 months. Considered as the stepping stone for the 2019 general elections, the street was keenly observing the Karnataka assembly election results. The high vote share for the Congress, the main opposition party, in the Karnataka polls poses a challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to retain power in 2019, concluded market players. ALSO READ: MARKETS LIVE: Indices trade lower, Nifty around 10,750 on Karnataka verdict 7. Congress facing a Deja vu? In a bid to keep its flock together the Congress was mulling the possibility of taking its legislators to a resort in the neighbouring state of Kerala, ruled by the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The Congress leaders present at the meeting included outgoing chief minister Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar and others. Last year, in a similar incident, the Congress had put up its legislators from Gujarat in a resort owned by Shivakumar in Bengaluru, when it feared that the BJP might influence them to abstain from voting in a Rajya Sabha election. Earlier in the day, the JD(S) and Congress leaders had together gone to Governor Vajubhai Vala to stake claim to form the government. BJP leaders, led by BS Yeddyurappa, had also asked the Governor to give them time until Thursday to prove majority. The JD(S) has won 37-seats and its ally the Bahujan Samaj Party has been victorious in one seat. The Congress has won 78 seats, and an Independent candidate that it had backed has also won. Together, the post-poll alliance is set to have 117-seats to the BJP's 104 in the 224-seat Assembly. Two seats where polls were postponed will vote on May 28. 8. Yeddyurappa still keeping his CM hope alive: The chief ministerial candidate of the Bhartiya Janta Party and former CM of the state, said that he was going to be elected as the leader of the party. He added that all the MLAs from the BJP will meet Governor to request him to allow the party to form a government in the state. "Tomorrow at 10:30 am in BJP legislative party meeting, I am going to be elected as party leader. After that, all MLAs are going to meet the Governor to request him to allow BJP to form govt. Now the ball is in the court of the Governor. We will do as he decides," he said on Tuesday. 9. Learning from mistakes, Cong acted swiftly to be in race for power in K'taka: Learning from past mistakes, the Congress on Tuesday moved swiftly to remain in the game as it extended support to JD(S) to form a government in Karnataka after the BJP failed to get a simple majority. The move is seen as an attempt by the beleaguered party to save yet another state from slipping out of its kitty. The Congress currently rules Punjab, Mizoram and Puducherry. Tuesday's step will also help provide a major boost to the "sagging morale" of the Congress ahead of state assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where the party sees an opportunity to upstage the BJP, and 2019 general elections. Unlike in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya, where the Congress failed to form its government despite securing the highest seats, it forged a quick post-poll alliance with the JD-S in Karnataka and staked claim to government formation. Sensing a clear opportunity, the Congress leadership took a quick call to let go of the post of chief minister, which it offered to JD-S that lapped it up immediately. Sources said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi discussed the issue with Sonia Gandhi and decided to play out the card of offering chief ministership to HD Kumaraswamy, the son of JD-S supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda. 10. AAP draws a blank in Karnataka polls: AAP candidates forfeited deposit in all 29 seats the party contested in Karnataka, giving yet another jolt to its attempts to spread its wings outside Delhi and Punjab. Prithvi Reddy, AAP's Karnataka convenor, who took on Congress heavyweight K J George from the Sarvagnanagar Assembly constituency, could barely manage 1,861 votes, coming a distant fourth. "We were washed out but I cannot understand why. We got a lot of support but that could not be converted into votes," said Reddy, who had resorted to a door-to-door campaign, usually undertaken by the party citing lack of resources. Of the 29 seats, the party had contested 18 in Bengaluru and 11 in the other parts of the state. 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. As the results of the poll in the state have left Karnataka Assembly in hung, the final decision will be taken by Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala.

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 17:07 IST
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