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All eyes on Governor as Karnataka throws fractured mandate (Roundup)

IANS  |  Bengaluru 

All eyes were on on Tuesday after hotly-contested elections threw up a hung Assembly, forcing the and a hurriedly stitched alliance of the and the JD-S to stake claim to form a government.

The BJP, which appeared confident of returning to power in its only southern bastion, emerged as the single largest party but failed to cross the half-way mark in the 224-member Assembly where two constituencies didn't vote on Saturday.

The data showed that the could end up with 104 seats -- eight short of simple majority.

The appeared to have learnt from its mistakes in and where it, despite emerging as the single largest party in both states, reacted late and gave the enough time to cobble together an alliance with smaller parties to form governments there.

This time, the Congress, set to win 78 seats, sprung a surprise and quickly announced its support to the Janata Dal-Secular which finished third with 37 seats in a bid to keep the BJP away from forming a government.

told the media in the company of outgoing that the JD-S and the Congress "will meet the and stake claim (to form a government)".

Led by former H.D. Deve Gowda, the JD-S quickly accepted the offer and wrote to the staking claim to power.

Both JD-S and former and of Congress then met the Governor and staked the claim to form a government.

"I have accepted the support extended by the Congress to form the government," Kumaraswamy said.

That happened after BJP and its Chief Ministerial candidate met and urged the Governor to let him prove his majority support in the Assembly. He was accompanied by

The ball now lies in the According to usual practice, the Governor calls the of the single largest party or pre-poll alliance to form the government.

In the case of a hung Assembly, the leader is asked to prove the majority on the floor of the House within a stipulated time.

In Karnataka, the Congress and JD-S did not have a pre-poll alliance. However, it is for the Governor to take a call on who to invite first.

The dramatic turn of events that saw BJP's jubilations swinging up and down throughout the day spoiled its hopes to form its own government in Karntaka -- its gateway to the south.

According to party sources, three senior ministers -- Dhamendra Pradhan, Prakash Javadekar and J.P. Nadda -- have been rushed to to strategise with the local leadership.

Mocking at the "desperation of a defeated Congress" to support the JD-S to form a coalition government to keep the BJP out of power, BJP said his party was open to an alliance with the JD-S or seek its support to form the new government.

"We are open to JD-S support, if need be, after all the results are declared. Our approach to JD-S will depend on the number of legislators we need to prove majority in the house or win the confidence motion," he said.

BJP activists and leaders earlier celebrated noisily in both and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday. But the markets later went into the red.



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

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 19:04 IST