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Cong throws spanner in BJP's works, decides to back JD(S) in

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

As appeared headed for a hung Assembly today with the BJP set to emerge as the single largest party but falling short of a majority, the today sprang a surprise, declaring it will back the also-ran JD(S) in forming the government.

Seeking to throw a spanner in the BJP's works as the party appeared tantalisingly close to the magic figure of 112, Minister announced Congress's support to the JD(S).

Emerging from a huddle with senior leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, said,"We have decided that the will extend support to the JD(S) to form the government. That's the best way to keep the BJP out (of power)."

Azad said a Congress delegation will meet in the evening.

The Congress has won 28 of the 222 seats polling for which was held, while it is leading in 49 others. The JD(S) has won seven constitutiencies and its candidates are ahead of their rivals in 31. If the number seats the two parties have won and where they are leading is taken into account, they could together end up with 115 seats, three more than the magic figure of 112.

The BJP, on the other hand, has won 57 seats and is leading in 47, a total of 104.

Though the BJP initially looked set to sail through and win a simple majority in the 224-member Assembly, as the day progressed and more trends and results started pouring in, an outright victory seemed improbable.

However, even as the BJP was set to emerge as the single largest party and its workers began celebrating the victory on the streets of and New Delhi, came the sudden twist in the tale with the Congress's announcement.

Barely hours before the shock, BJP leaders in the national capital were hailing the poll results as an endorsement of Narendra Modi's development agenda and claiming that people had rejected the divisive, toxic and negative of the Congress.

The role of Vajubhai Bala, a former BJP veteran, would be critical once the Congress formally extends support to the JD(S).

According to the usual practice, the calls the of the single largest party or pre-poll alliance to form the government, and in the event of a hung Assembly, asks him to prove the majority on the floor of the House.

Since the Congress and JD(S) did not have a pre-poll alliance, it seems unlikely that he would invite the of the JD(S) legislature group to form the government.

The sudden development nonetheless poured cold water on the BJP's plans to form its government in the large southern state, which its called the "gateway to south", for a second time.

BJP's ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, his had said earlier, was to fly to to finalise the date for his swearing-in after consulting the party's national leadership. It is unclear now whether he would proceed to given the state of flux in the state's

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 15:50 IST
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