Bengaluru: The high decibel political drama over formation of Government in Karnataka appeared quirky as Janata Dal (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy accused the BJP of attempting horse-trading, while a number of Congress and JD(S) MLAs reportedly went missing on Wednesday, the day BJP’s BS Yedyurappa staked his claim to the Governor despite falling short of majority even as the two rival parties kept pushing for a game changer with a combined strength that well surpasses the magic figure.
In a new twist to the political slugfest for claim over the power corriodor, Janata Dal(Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy accused the BJP of going for horse-trading by, making an offer of Rs 100 crore and cabinet posts to some of his party MLAs.
Addressing a press conference, Kumaraswamy said, “JD(S) MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each. Where is this black money coming from? They are supposedly the servers of poor people and they are offering money today. Where are the income tax officials?”
His allegation came shortly after Yeddyurappa submitted the papers of his election as BJP Legislature Party leader to Governor Vajubhai Vala and staked his claim to form a Government, despite his party that emerged as the single largest one, falling short of majority.
He urged the Governor not to take any decision which encourages horse-trading.
Asserting that his party will be with the Congress, Kumaraswamy, the son of JD(S) chief and former Prime Minister H D Devegowda, said the verdict in Karnataka is to stop BJP’s ‘Ashwamedha Yatra.”
Out of the total 223 Assembly seats, the BJP has won 104, nine short of majority, while the Congress has bagged 78 and JD(S) 38. To keep the BJP out of power, the Congress came to an eleventh-hour post-poll alliance with the JD(S) to muster a combined strength of 116.
The Congress has also left the Chief Minister’s post to JD(S), which has elected Kumaraswamy as the Legislative Party leader.
While the state’s political fate hangs in balance subject to a decision of the Governor, who has initially refused to entertain the claim for a combined majority strength of the Congress and JD(S) and is more likely to accede to Yedyurappa’s demand, five lawmakers of the non-BJP camp went “incommunicadeo” on Wednesday, indicating more twists in the tale.
According to reports, three Congress and two JDS lawmakers went “incommunicado” on Wednesday morning, sending an alert ringing across the Congress-Janata Dal Secular (JDS) combine.
A meeting of newly-elected Congress legislators was delayed in the morning as the party couldn’t communicate with three of its lawmakers, Rajshekhar Patil, Nagendra and Anand Singh. Anand Singh and Nagendra are believed to be close to the Reddy brothers linked to the BJP.
Two JDS members, Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and Venkata Rao Nadagouda, were also missing from their party’s meeting at a five-star hotel in Bengaluru.
Outgoing chief minister Siddaramaiah of the Congress, however, denied the “missing” reports. “All the Congress MLAs are intact. Nobody is missing. We are confident of forming the government,” NDTV quoted him as saying.
According to political analysts, BJP could be exploring to bridge the gap between its strength and power. With its present strength, the party can get the majority mark reduced if the effective strength of the House comes down to 207.
In 2008, the BJP was just three short of the half-way mark in the state Assembly. The party got four JD(S) and three Congress MLAs to resign from the Assembly, thereby bringing down the threshold for proving majority in the House.
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–India Blooms News service