The fractured mandate in Karnataka on Tuesday resulted in a bit of a fracas, with the BJP emerging as the largest party with 104 seats and Congress, JD(S) coming a distant second and third, with 78 and 37 seats respectively.
BJP falling short of a majority resulted in the Congress and JD(S) becoming unlikely allies, with the Congress promising its minority partner, the Chief Minister’s position to somehow hold on to power. This offer was also accepted by HD Kumaraswamy, who along with the Congress leaders headed over to the Governor’s place for staking claim to form the government.
It though was slightly naive to accept that BJP would be watching silently, and only yesterday reports had claimed that BJP was in talks with 9 JD(S) MLAs and 6 Congress ones. The plot now seems to be thickening if a Republic TV report is to be believed.
As reported, ahead of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) meeting, the Congress party is unable to locate 4 of its MLA-elects from the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. This ‘disappearance’ comes after the party had issued a whip to all its MLAs to make sure that they attend the meeting.
The Congress though has strongly denied the possibility of its MLAs rebelling, with former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah claiming that all the MLAs were intact and that they were confident of forming the government.
Despite what the Congress might be claiming, the perception that all is not well in the party is being “bolstered” by other local reports which claim that a whopping 32 MLAs have failed to arrive at the KPCC meeting. Hence only 46 MLAs were available to sign the letter of support which will be used to stake a claim for forming the government:
#KarnatakaKurukshetra: Only 46 out of 78 newly elected MLAs arrive at KPCC office. 46 MLAs sign the letter of support. Signatures being taken to stake claim to form government. Congress legislature party leader unlikely to be elected today. pic.twitter.com/QxAiCGL6M5
— NEWS9 (@NEWS9TWEETS) May 16, 2018
News also surfaced of some JD(S) MLAs going missing while BJP and the alleged Congress + JD(S) alliance are scramming to form the government.
JD(S)’ MLAs Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and Venkata Rao Nadagouda are missing from the JD(S) legislative party meeting which is going on in a hotel in Bengaluru. #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/oRASjpqwjd
— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2018
Yesterday, it was also reported that Lingayat MLAs of Congress were threatening to quit because they didn’t want Kumaraswamy as the CM.
If indeed the above news reports are true, then it remains to be seen whether the Congress is in for a major embarrassment in the coming days.