The BJP and the Congress-JD(S) alliance today met Karnataka Governor Valubhai Vala to stake claim to form the government.
In race to meet the Governor, Bharatiya Janata Party's chief ministerial candidate BS Yedyurappa came first to prove majority.
A desperate Congress has made an unconditional offer to HD Deve Gowda's JD(S) to back the regional party and make HD Kumaraswamy as chief minister.
However, Yeddyurappa said Congress is trying to subvert the popular mandate and come back to power through the back door. People of Karnataka will never accept this. They had given a mandate for a Congress-mukt Karnataka.
Meanwhile, Karnataka chief minister K. Siddaramaiah submitted his resignation letter to the governor after meeting him at his residence on Tuesday evening as the BJP inched closer to a majority in the state election results.
The JD(S) has accepted the Congress' offer under the condition its candidate Kumaraswamy is made the chief minister as the BJP is inching closer to the 112 victory mark number.
"We had a telephonic conversation with Deve Gowda ji & Kumaraswamy. They have accepted our offer. Hopefully, we will be together," Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad said today. BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa downlpayed the report of the possible alliance.
"Shortly we will be knowing the final figures, then we'll decide the future plan. I don't want to talk about Congress or JD(S)," he told reporters.
In another twist, a Congress delegation led by G Parameshwara, who had gone to the Governor's House, did not get entry, turned back, reported ANI. JD(S)' Danish Ali has said his party, together with the Congress will meet the governor after 5.30 PM today. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has entered the governor's house.
"JD(S) had always maintained that HD Kumaraswamy will be CM. As per results, we're doing everything to keep BJP out of power. Congress has extended its support, we have accepted it. We will jointly go to meet Governor after 5.30 pm today."
Congress had reportedly sent senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot to Bangalore yesterday precisely for this eventuality
"We accept the people’s verdict. No party has got a majority so far so the Congress has decided to extend support to JD-S to form government," Karnataka PCC president Dr G Parameshwara told reporters.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on the other hand, asserted the BJP is the "largest party" in the state, calling it a "historic win".
Surging ahead of the ruling Congress ,the BJP has staked claim at 37 seats so far, while the incumbent Congress is behind with 10 seats. The JDS, that may end up being a kingmaker, has won 4 seats and leading in 35. The BJP is leading in 89 Assembly seats, while its rival Congress in 71 constituencies.
Responding on whether the grand old party will be winnning to have an alliance with the JDS in case of a hung assembly, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Ashok Gehlot replied in the affirmative.
BJP workers, on Tuesday, started with their celebrations outside the party office in Bengaluru. The party, confident of forming the government, has refused to join hands with the JDS. The Congress, on the other hand, has decided to keep "all options open" in case of a hung assembly.
BJP CM Candidate BS Yeddyurappa has won from Shikaripura seat by 35,397 votes. Chief Minister lost from the Chamundeshwari constituency, but won in Badami.
The BJP, however, has rejected any scope for such coalition.
The latest Election Commission of India trends indicate that the BJP has claimed more seats than the Congress or the JD-S, assuring them of triumph in this crucial elections, which comes in the build-up to the all-important 2019 general elections.
On the face of it, it is pretty evident that the BJP’s vote share in the regions it won ten years ago (when it won power) is largely intact. In the last election in 2013, its vote share had split into three parties— BJP, KJP formed by B S Yeddyurappa and BSRCongress formed by B Sreeramulu. Besides this, it appears there was anti incumbency against sitting Congress legislators — for instance several ministers in the Siddaramaiah cabinet have lost their seats.
In coastal Karnataka, which is traditionally seen as a BJP stronghold, the party had lost many seats in 2013. But it has bounced back in the three coastal districts of Uttara Kannada, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada, a pointer that the intensive Hindutva-focussed campaign worked. The BJP’s main election plank in this region was that many Hindu activists had been murdered over the past five years.
Dismantling the incumbent Congress government will be like another stag-head trophy on the wall for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government, as they have usurped several states from the Congress in recent years.
Revelling in the landslide victory, BJP workers were seen parading with flags and raising 'Bharat Mata ki Jai!' slogans outside the party's Bengaluru office, with forming an independent government in the state all but confirmed for the most dominant political party in India's history.
"People of Karnataka want good governance, that is why they have chosen BJP. This is a big victory for the party. Congress is losing state after state & we are winning state after state," Prakash Javadekar, BJP Karnataka in-charge said.
Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivkumar admitted defeat of the party.
"Rahul Gandhi did his best, but it is we who have lost the elections. We, the local leadership, should have en-cashed it in a proper way & because of which we lost it," news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
A defeat in Karnataka for Congress will mean that it will only have governments in Punjab and Puducherry. Like PM Modi put it during campaigning – party of three Ps, that is, Punjab, Puducherry and Parivaar, taking his umpteenth potshot at Congress’ “dynastic rule”.
Karnataka election is the first major test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ability to sway elections south of Vindhyas.
For Congress, retaining Karnataka is critical. A win in the state is crucial for the grand old party to have bargaining power over other potential allies in the fledgling united front being planned to take on the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.