K’taka fate hangs in a balance as BJP falls short of majority, Cong-JD(S) join hands

Bengaluru: At the end of counting of votes on Wednesday, Karnataka stared at a phase of political uncertainty with the Assembly polls throwing up a hung verdict as none of the major parties — BJP, Congress or JD(S) — was able to secure the magic number of 113 required to form a government though the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats.

Nevertheless, a BJP delegation, led by its CM face B.S. Yeddyurappa met Governor Vajubhai Vala, a former BJP minister from Gujarat, on Tuesday evening seeking a week to prove they had the numbers even as the Congress and Janata Dal(S) cobbled together a coalition with former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) staking his claim to form the government with the support of the Congress. 

BJP govt

Accompanying the JD(S) leader to  Raj Bhavan were CM Siddaramaiah — who lost in Chamundeshwari by a massive margin — and Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Dr G. Parameshwar, the KPCC president who is tipped to become deputy CM, if the Congress chooses to be in government rather than support it from the outside as was being speculated. 

Past animosities and the bitterness of the poll campaign were forgotten as the Congress — which had to be content with 78 seats compared to the 122 it had in the previous Assembly — and the JD(S) finalised formalities for government formation, a process which was initiated after polling day in Singapore where Mr Kumaraswamy met Congress emissaries. 

Sources said the Congress has left the CM post to the JD(S) as it feels the mandate is not for the ruling party with as many as 16 ministers in the Siddaramaiah government biting the dust.

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