Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

All Eyes on the Karnataka Governor; BJP Has the Constitutional Edge

All Eyes on the Karnataka Governor; BJP Has the Constitutional Edge

While the JD (S) finished third, and won fewer seats than it did in 2013, the Congress performed even worse: It ended up with 40 percent fewer seats than it did in 2013.

Leaders of various other parties chipped in to play a role in getting the two parties together. Kumaraswamy said this was an opportunity given by God to undo his mistakes and remove the black spot by allying with the Congress party.

After Tuesday's results, the BJP is nine short of the magic figure of 113 in the 224 seat assembly. In effect, it comes to mean that the ruling party (or the main party in the case of coalition) running the central government tries to find a constitutional and legal justification to grab power in a state even if it does not have a clear majority in the Assembly.

Earlier in the day, lashing out at the alleged bribing of JD (S) MLAs, Kumaraswamy questioned as to why no inquiry was being conducted by the income tax department on the source of the cash being offered.

"We have submitted the necessary documents which show that we have the numbers required to form the government". They tried to convince him that trying to stop the BJP from getting power was the best way to prove the JD (S)'s secular credentials and shed its 2006 baggage when Kumaraswamy joined hands with the BJP.

However, the move delivered a severe blow to the BJP's reputation as a "party with a difference".

The Congress Legislature Party meeting was held at the party office and it was attended by senior party leaders, including state party president G. Parameshwara and MPs from the State.

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Under a rotational chief ministership arrangement, Kumaraswamy became the chief minister and Yeddyurappa his deputy. Going by the BJP's claim on May 16 that an independent MLA has joined it, its latest tally is 105 and it now needs six more for a simple majority.

During his term as Chief Minister of Karnataka, he was involved in a major mining scam, in a bid to help a privately owned company called Janthakal Enterprise.

While calling the Governer's decision unconstitutional, Kumaraswamy said, "By giving 15 days time (to prove majority) Governor is encouraging horse-trading by BJP leaders, this is unconstitutional".

In 1996 parliamentary elections, BJP with 161 seats, made phenomenal gains. In the present case, if the Congress and JD (S) had not announced its post-poll alliance, the BJP had all the possibility of forming the government but in the present scenario, considering the landmark Bommai judgement which has been adhered to strictly so far in the Narendra Modi government (Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, Bihar), this does not seem likely.

Two decades later, an 85-year-old Deve Gowda now has all the reasons to cheer the remarks he made. The role of regional parties is very important, and the Congress should try to take all opposition, all regional parties..., into confidence and go for an alliance. As per a rule, the Governor does not have to invite the single largest party to come forward to form the government.

Unlike Gujarat, which saw a clear urban-rural divide with the BJP dominating the urban belt, the Karnataka capital was closely fought.

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