The Congress today asserted that Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has no option but to invite the JD(S)-Congress combine which has a “clear majority” to form the government in the state, based on constitutional and legal provisions. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala cited “past precedents” in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya to emphasise that the post-poll coalition of his party and the JD(S) must be given the opportunity to take over the reins of power in Karnataka. He said the governor is bound under the Constitution and legal provisions to invite their coalition to form the government in the state. “We expect Karnataka governor to invite JD (S)-Cong coalition which has clear majority to form government in the state.
As per constitutional and legal provisions, the governor has no option but to invite the coalition,” he said. He claimed that their coalition has a clear majority with 117 seats and it should be formed in the interest of Karnataka. After the election threw a hung verdict, the Congress announced its support to the H D Kumaraswamy-led JD(S). The BJP emerged victorious in 104 assembly seats out of 222 constituencies where elections were held. The Congress won 78 seats, the JD(S) 37 seats and others three seats. The combination of parties of JD(S) , the Congress, one BSP MLA and one independent has clearly and unequivocally stated to the governor that this is a post-poll coalition which has a combined number of 117 as against the required number of 112, Surjewala said.
The Congress said the BJP’s claim to form a government in Karnataka is demolished by three precedents in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya. Surjewala referred to the result of assembly polls in these three states and quoted Union minister Arun Jaitley’s remarks, who had justified formation of their governments on the plea that they had a biggest coalition. The Congress had emerged the single largest party in these states. Justifying the move to stake claim along with the JDS to form the government, Surjewala said his party had acted as per constitutional norms and traditions.
He also cited the example of former President K R Narayanan who invited BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee to form a government in 1998, noting that the guiding principle behind it was that a party or a combination of parties that has won the largest number of seats be invited. He said Narayanan had set a fair and constitutionally correct precedent and that should be followed. Surjewala said keeping in view the interests of people of the state, the Congress decided to extend support to the JD-S for the formation of a government there. He said that their coalition would leave no stone unturned to provide good governance to the state, saying both parties will work together for a bright future of the state.
Rejecting the BJP’s charge that it was trying to come to power through the backdoor, the party cited the cases of Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, where the Congress could not form government despite emerging as the largest party. “BJP’s claim of ‘single largest party’ to be invited is demolished by 3 recent precedents set by them-: “(1) Goa (March 2017) Assembly Strength – 40. Congress – 17. BJP – 12. BJP was invited to form the Govt by Governor in a post poll coalition BJP+MGP+GFP,” he tweeted earlier.
“(2) Manipur (March 2017) Assembly Strength – 60. Congress – 28. BJP – 21. BJP was invited to form the Govt by Governor in a post poll coalition. So much so, 1 independent MLA was detained at Imphal Airport through security agencies & handed over to BJP.” “(3) Meghalaya (March 2018) Assembly Strength – 60. Congress – 21. BJP – 2. BJP was invited to form the Govt by Governor in post poll coalition with NPEP+UDP+PDF+HSDPDP,” he said on Twitter.
Surjewala claimed that the BJP’s support has dwindled from 2014 in 2018 and in 48 months, it has been restricted from 17 to 12 parliamentary segments, and the vote share has gone down from 43 per cent to 36 per cent. “That should also tell show the mirror of truth to BJP which has been claiming false claims of victory since this morning,” he said. “We request the BJP they have not been given the mandate by the people of Karnataka to rule the state. Actually if you look at the real number, they tell an extremely interesting story. The Congress and the JD(S) has the support of over 56.5 per cent of the total votes polled,” he said.