Opposition parties may stall Parliament if the Congress and the JD(S) are not given a chance to form government in Karnataka, though morally the BJP must get the first opportunity, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said today. “I believe if the Congress and the JD(S) prove that they have support of 116 MLAs and the governor still does not give them the opportunity to form government, its reverberations might be seen in Parliament and it may be disrupted for several days,” Raut told reporters here. However, the BJP can stake claim to form government on “moral grounds” as it is the single largest party, said Raut, whose party is in an uneasy alliance with the saffron party in Maharashtra and at the Centre.
“It is a Constitutional convention to invite the single largest party first. But we haven’t seen the Congress and the BJP following conventions in the last few years. Such (convention-based) decisions were not taken in Goa and Manipur (where hung assemblies emerged after polls). However, the situation in Karnataka is different as it is a bigger state,” Raut said. The governor would find himself in a quandary if the Congress and the JD(S) join hands and establish that they have support of 116 MLAs, he said, describing the Congress’s decision to back the latter as a “cunning move”.
The Rajya Sabha MP added that instead of kingmaker, the JD(S) has emerged as the king, but it would be “unfortunate” if the single largest party (BJP) sits in opposition while a member of a smaller party becomes chief minister. “However, seeing the BJP’s politics of retaining and purchasing power, the JD(S) may also split up. The BJP’s politics in this regard is better than that of the Congress,” he remarked.
The BJP emerged as the single largest party today but fell nine seats short of a majority in Karnataka, while the Congress backed third-placed JD(S) for a post-poll alliance. All eyes are now on Governor Vajubhai Vala who will have to decide whether to call BJP to try to form the government or go with the JD(S)-Congress combine, which together have a clear majority in the 224-member Assembly.