Seeking to throw a spanner in the BJP’s works as the party appeared tantalisingly close to the magic figure of 112, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced Congress’s support to the JD(S). Emerging from a huddle with senior Congress leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Siddaramaiah said,”We have decided that the Congress 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 Governor Vajubhai Vala 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 Bengaluru and New Delhi, came the sudden twist in the tale with the Congress’s announcement.
According to the usual practice, the governor calls the leader 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 governor Vajubhai Vala would invite the leader of the JD(S) legislature group to form the government.