Outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said H.D. Kumaraswamy would be the next chief minister of the JD-S-led government supported by the Congress in Karnataka
Siddaramaiah has also quashed rumours that a section of MLAs of his party was unhappy over him joining hands with Congress.
“We have decided that Kumaraswamy will be the chief minister. We are 117 together,” Siddaramaiah said after a meeting between the two parties took place late in the evening, post the announcement of election results of Karnataka, which has thrown up a fractured mandate.
Asked about reports of dissension among some Congress MLAs over the two parties coming together, Siddaramaiah said: “It’s a baseless rumour.”
In the election results, the Bharatiya Janata Party has won 104 seats, emerging as the single largest party, while the Congress with 78 seats is at the second position. Former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S) party has emerged as a kingmaker with 37 seats.
Apart from this, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party both won one seat each. Remaining one seat went to an Independent candidate contesting from the state.
Elections in Karnataka were held at 222 out of 224 seats, on May 12. Elections in two assembly constituencies have been deferred. A party or an alliance needs 112 seats to form the government in Karnataka.
As the results of the poll in the state have left the assembly in hung, the final decision will be taken by the Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala.
Karnataka fate hangs in a balance as BJP falls short of majority, Cong-JD(S) join hands
Sources said the Congress has left the CM post to the JD(S) as it feels the mandate is not for the ruling party with as many as 16 ministers in the Siddaramaiah government biting the dust.
The CM himself managed to barely scrape through in Badami by 1,696 votes, the second seat he fought from, but the massive blow to the Congress’ prospects in central and north Karnataka proved that the Lingayat gamble of offering the dominant community in Karnataka minority religion status had not worked at all.
All eyes are now on governor Vajubhai Vala amid conflicting reports of horse-trading, with some reports suggesting that five Lingayat MLAs from the Congress are already missing. The BJP needs eight more MLAs to reach the 112 mark in the 222-seat Assembly, with polls yet to be held in two seats. Meanwhile, the JD(S) has reportedly whisked away its MLAs to a resort to make sure they are not poached upon by the BJP in its effort to scramble together a majority.
While the Congress and the JD(S) together have a comfortable majority – 116, three more than the halfway mark – it remains to be seen how the BJP, despite being the largest party, will get its required numbers with only two Independents winning the polls. “Wait and watch” was all that a top BJP source would say when asked how the party was planning to get the numbers. Any party or coalition staking claim to form the government will also have to prove its majority on the floor of the Assembly, probably in a couple of weeks.
In fact, Karnataka has faced a similar situation in the past. In 2004, the Congress and JD(S) formed a coalition government led by late Dharam Singh after no party could secure a majority though the BJP emerged as the single largest party. That government lasted for two years and was toppled by Mr Kumaraswamy, who led a JD(S)-BJP coalition government with the BJP’s B.S.
Yeddyurappa as his deputy. The 20-20 month power-sharing arrangement did not last long either, with H.D. Kumaraswamy refusing to give up power to the BJP, which led to the collapse of the coalition in 2007.
(BLOG INPUTS FROM ANI & Deccan Chronicle)