The newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs will meet today in Bengaluru to formally elect BS Yeddyurappa as the legislative party leader. The meeting will be held at 10:30 am. Post the meeting, MLAs will call on Governor Vajubhai Vala to request him to allow the single largest party to form a government in the state.
The development comes after the May 12 state elections delivered a hung verdict with the BJP emerging as the single largest party. The saffron party won 104 seats, just 9 short to cross the magic figure of 113 in 224-member House. The Congress party, which had formed the government in 2013 with a clear-cut majority, managed to win 78 seats. The Janata Dal(Secular) HD Kumaraswamy won 38 seats, marginally down from 40 in 2013.
Speaking to news agency ANI this morning, senior BJP leader ES Eshwarappa said that the party will form the government. “There is no doubt we will form govt, 100% we will do that. Wait and watch. Results came out only yesterday. It has been only a day. See what can happen in Karnataka in a day,” he said.
He also claimed that several MLAs in the JD(S) and Congress are opposed to an alliance between the two parties. He claimed that several MLAs of the JD(S) are in touch with the BJP who will vote in favour of the party.
“Several MLAs in the Congress and JD(S) are angry. They will walk away at the time of voting (to prove majority (in the House). They are with BJP,” he told reporters.
Besides the BJP, Congress MLAs are slated to meet in the state capital to elect the legislative party leader. According to media reports, besides electing the legislative party leader, the agenda will be to ensure all MLAs remain united as a team. There are reports that several Congress MLAs are not okay with the decision to form the government with Kumaraswamy at the helm.
Siddaramaiah told ANI that all MLAs of the Congress party are together and reiterated the JD(S) will form the new government with Congress’ support. “All the Congress MLAs are intact. Nobody is missing. We are confident of forming the government,” he said.
On Tuesday, high drama unfolded in the state capital immediately after the verdict was announced. The Congress party announced an unconditional support to the JD(S), which later in the evening staked claim to form the next government. BJP’s chief ministerial candidate BSY also met the Governor and sought two days time to prove majority. He told ANI that the ball is in the court of the Governor. “We will do as he decides,” he said.
Meanwhile, DK Shivakumar of the Congress said that the BJP is resorting to horse-trading to break its MLAs. “They (BJP) are poaching our MLAs, we know that. Everyday there is a lot of pressure. But it not so easy because two parties have the necessary number. People are watching this,” he said.
When asked about whether MLAs will be shifted somewhere outside the state, he replied, “Yes definitely there is a plan. We have to safeguard our MLAs, We will let you know what is the plan.”
Congress MLA Amaregouda Linganagouda Patil Bayyapur told ANI that he got a call from the BJP offering him a ministerial berth. “I got a call from the BJP leaders. They said come to us & we’ll give a ministry to you. We’ll make you a minister. But, I’m going to stay here. HD Kumaraswamy is our Chief Minister,” he said.