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BJP single largest party in Karna; Cong & JD(S) stitch alliance, both stake claim for govt

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

The BJP emerged as the single largest party today but fell 9 seats short of a majority in where the dramatically backed third-placed rival JD(S) for a post-poll alliance to keep the saffron party out of power.

All eyes are now on who will have to decide whether to call BJP to try to form the government or go with the JD(S)-combine, which together have a clear majority in the 224-member Assembly.

Elections were held for 222 seats on May 12 while polling for the remaining two will be held later.

Both sides rushed to meet Vala, their vehicles slowly cutting through the throngs of party workers and supporters assembled outside the Raj Bhavan gates, and staked claim to power.

Addressing BJP workers in Delhi, Narendra Modi, who undertook a vigorous campaign, hailed the party's win in as "unparalleled and unprecedented".

The BJP bagged 104 seats, a gain of 64 , while the notched 78, a loss of 44 seats, though its vote share was nearly two percentage points more than the saffron party.

The JD(S) secured 37 seats, down by three from its previous tally.

In a roller-coaster ride for BJP, it initially appeared that the party was set to return to power after a five-year hiatus with a resounding majority. But at the end of counting of votes it came tantalisingly close to 113 needed to form the government.

"We had to be ready for any eventuality. So when there was a window, we chipped in," Congress told TV. "...when the JD(S) and the Congress numbers swelled up, that was the time we felt we can make it."

Azad's comments summed up the breathtaking daylong developments in an election seen as a bellwether for the 2019 at a time when the saffron wave is sweeping the country. was the only non-BJP ruled state, and the party offices had reverberated with jubilation in the morning when initial trends put it ahead.

Several BJP and Congress leaders rushed to Bengaluru from the national capital.

The swift political manoeuvring by Congress in reaching out to JD(S) showed that it had learnt its lesson after the debacle in and where it failed to form the government despite being the single largest party because of BJP's shrewd moves.

"We have all together discussed and decided this.... This is the opinion of the All party. Congress will support JD(S) because there is a hung Assembly situation here as no party has been given clear majority by the people," outgoing Minister told reporters after submitting his resignation.

Congress Leaders Siddaramaiah, and along with JD(S) H D met Vala and submitted a letter seeking an opportunity to form the government.

"All party leaders after discussion have given a letter to our extending support ....on behalf our party, along with Congress leaders we have asked seeking an opportunity to form the government with the support of Congress, also two independent MLAs," Kumaraswamy, the alliance's ministerial candidate, said.

Soon after Congress declared its support to JD(S), wrote to the informing him that he had accepted the offer to be the

KPCC chief G Parameshwara said modalities related to government formation would be discussed later.

However, BJP's chief ministerial candidate B S accused Congress of trying to grab power unfairly.

met the Governor and staked claim to form the government, slamming the move of the Congress-JDS combine as an attempt to come back to power through back door.

"BJP has emerged as the single largest party, we have requested the governor to give us an opportunity to prove our majority on the floor of the assembly," told reporters after meeting Vala along with

A sombre-looking Yeddyurappa said the people of Karnataka had rejected the government "lock, stock and barrel".

The usual practice is for the governor to call 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 remains to be seen if he invites to form the government.

At least 10 ministers fell by the wayside as they lost their seats in an anti-incumbency wave.

himself lost by a huge margin of 36,042 votes in his traditional constituency of Chamundeshwari in Mysuru to JDS' G T Deve Gowda.

He, however, managed to scrape through in Badami in north Karnataka, where he won by a slender margin of 1,696 votes after a see-saw battle against BJP's B Sriramulu, a close associate of the baron Reddy brothers.

Yeddyurappa won the Shikaripura seat by a margin of over 35,000 votes while Kumaraswamy won convincingly in both Channapatna and Ramanagara.

After a record 72.13 per cent voter turnout, the announced that the Congress notched 38 per cent of votes as against BJP's 36.2 per cent. JD(S), headed by former H D Deve Gowda, got 18.4 per cent votes. .

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

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 21:50 IST