Yeddyurappa stakes claim to form BJP government in Karnataka

Yeddyurappa

Bengaluru: India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) chief ministerial face, B.S. Yeddyurappa, on Wednesday staked claim to form the new government in Karnataka.

“We have staked claim to form the government as the single largest party with 104 newly elected legislators,” Yeddyurappa told reporters here after meeting Governor Vajubhai R. Vala at Raj Bhavan.

Earlier in the day, the new Bharatiya Janata Party lawmakers unanimously elected Yeddyurappa as their legislative party leader.

“I have requested the Governor to allow me to take oath as the Chief Minister at the earliest and the Governor said he would take an appropriate decision soon,” Yeddyurappa said.

Of the 222 constituencies where polling was held on May 12, the BJP won in 104 seats, while the Congress won in 78 and JD-S won in 38 seats, along with its ally Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), throwing up a hung assembly in the state.

The BJP is still eight short of the 112-halfway mark needed for a simple majority.

In a related development, the party’s legislator from Rajajinagar in the city’s northwest suburb told reporters that the Congress was “shameless” to extend support to the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) after its leaders, including party President Rahul Gandhi and state unit chief G. Parameshwara accused the regional party of being the ‘B-team’ of the BJP.

“Shocking to see a defeated Congress falling head over heels to extend unconditional support to the JD-S after dubbing it BJP’s B-team,” Kumar told reporters outside Raj Bhavan.

On Tuesday, the Congress had extended its unconditional support to the JD-S to form a government in the state.

Meanwhile, JD-S leader H.D. Kumaraswamy on Wednesday accused the BJP of offering Rs 100 crore and cabinet posts to its newly elected legislators in a “desperate” attempt to form a government in Karnataka.

“Our legislators have been offered Rs 100 crore and cabinet seats by the BJP in return for support,” the former Chief Minister alleged at a press conference.

The JD-S leader named Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah for the offer as the BJP, he said, was desperate to form a government and deny the JD-S a chance to form a government with Congress backing.

“This attempt by the BJP to poach our legislators will backfire as there are people who are willing to leave the BJP to support us (JD-S),” he alleged.

The JD-S and Congress together have the required majority to form the government, he said.

“We will be meeting the Governor again on Wednesday evening to urge him to give us a chance to form the government as we have the majority of MLAs.”

Accusing the BJP of using the central government machinery to target opposition leaders, Kumaraswamy denied meeting any BJP leader, but admitted that many newly elected legislators from the BJP and Congress were in touch with him on government formation.

Saturday’s election threw up a hung Assembly, with the BJP finishing with the largest number of seats but short of a majority. The Congress and the JD-S came at the second and third spot.

(Agencies)

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