As the Modi magic works again the Karnataka elections rings in good news for the saffron party with the BJP clinching maximum vote share of 104 seats emerging as the largest party in the state. To keep the histrionics alive the Congress and the JD(S) worked up a partnership to stake a claim in governance winning 78 and 38 seats each in the elections.
But it’s the BJP camp which is blowing the bugle to flag its victory on the 21st state on the trot in its assembly elections roadmap this year.
With a fractured mandate in the offing speculations are rife on the parties in the fray ready to stake a claim in governance, with both the Congress-JD(S) and the BJP slated to meet the governor Vajubhai Vala to take the decision.
Even though BJP finished as the single largest party, it’s still short of 8 seats to be able to form government, with its candidate BS Yeddyurappa vying to grab the Chief Minister’s position.
Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, JP Nadda and Prakash Javadekar gathered at the BJP office for a legislative party meeting to discuss the possibilities of inviting MLAs from the rival parties to vote for them or absent themselves.
The Karnataka elections have indeed unfolded a whirlwind phase with conflicting results for all the parties, with the BJP trailing at 104 seats, the Congress languishing the loss of 43 seats and the JD(S) wishing to tide over its poll blues with a swift coalition with Congress.
The Congress didn’t duck to deliver its unconditional support to JD(S) and pitched JD(S) candidate HD Kumaraswamy for Chief Ministerial position, with its tally of 116 seats ahead of the simple majority of 112.
Kumaraswamy elected as the leader of the JD(S) legislative party rules out any possibility of coalition with BJP which it says is “short of numbers.”
Citing the course of action in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya, where BJP ended up forming government Kumaraswamy said, “No question of alliance with the BJP. I thank party workers for their support.”
Rumor mills are doing the rounds with possibilities of an “Operation Lotus”; a repeat of BJP’s 2008 move when it horse traded Cong and JD(S) MLAs to form the government.
The results of the Karnataka polls is pretty much in sync with the exit polls which projected the BJP with a sweeping victory of 118 seats. Shah’s poll management clubbed with Modi’s campaign blitzkrieg just did the trick.
Though JD(S) was unable to contribute substantially to the votes tally, it eventually emerged as Congress’ partner of convenience to keep the BJP at bay.
It’s said that Kumaraswamy had initially favored an alliance with BJP buoyed by the fact that they both had Congress as the common target, but later on being offered the post of Chief Minister, it reversed its position and allied with the Congress.
However the Congress was prepared for its position after the polls. The moment it sensed a hung verdict it summoned its old foxes Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot to work out a coalition to sideline the BJP.
Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi also came in contact with HD Deve Gowda to participate in joining an anti-BJP coalition ahead of the 2019 general elections and seeing his son become the Chief Minister.
While the drama for the fractured mandate continues to hover around the future of Karnataka, the ball is in Governor Vajubhai Vala’s court, a former RSS functionary and Modi’s ex-cabinet colleague in Gujarat, to decide who will be invited to form government on floor test.