The Congress today asserted that Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala has no option but to invite the JD(S)-Congress combine which has a “clear majority” to form the government in the state based on constitutional and legal provisions.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, addressing a press conference, cited “precedents” to emphasise that the post poll coalition of his party and JD(S) must be given the opportunity to take over the reins of power in Karnataka.
“We expect Karnataka governor to invite JD (S)-Cong coalition which has clear majority to form government in the state. As per constitutional and legal provisions, the governor has no option but to invite the coalition,” Surjewala said, adding their coalition has a clear majority with 115 seats.
With the election throwing a hung verdict, the Congress today announced its support to HD Kumaraswamy-led JD(S). As per latest results and trends, the BJP has emerged victorious in 97 assembly seats and was leading in 7 other segments out of 222 constituencies where elections had taken place. Congress has won 74 seats and was leading in four others while JD(S) won 37 seats.
The Congress said the BJP’s claim to form a government in Karnataka is demolished by three precedents in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya. Justifying its move to stake claim along with the JD (S) to form the government, Surjewala said his party had acted as per constitutional norms and traditions.
He also cited the instance of BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was invited to form a government by the then president KR Narayanan, noting the guiding principle behind it was that a party or a combination of parties that has won the largest number of seats be invited.
“As Congress-JD(S) win 95 seats and lead in 20 seats, absolute majority for the coalition is clear. Coalition also has 56 percent vote share,” he said.
Surjewala said Narayanan had set a fair and constitutionally correct precedent by inviting Atal Bihari Vajpayee to form and lead a coalition government on 12th March, 1998.
Rejecting the BJP's charge it was trying to come to power through the backdoor, the party also cited the cases of Goa, Manipur, Meghlaya, where the Congress could not form government despite emerging as the largest party.
“BJP’s claim of ‘single largest party' to be invited is demolished by 3 recent precedents set by them-: “(1) Goa (March 2017) Assembly Strength - 40. Congress - 17. BJP - 12. BJP was invited to form the Govt by Governor in a post poll coalition BJP+MGP+GFP,” he tweeted earlier.
“(2) Manipur (March 2017) Assembly Strength - 60. Congress - 28. BJP - 21. BJP was invited to form the Govt by Governor in a post poll coalition. So much so, 1 independent MLA was detained at Imphal Airport through security agencies & handed over to BJP.” “(3) Meghalaya (March 2018) Assembly Strength - 60. Congress - 21. BJP - 2.”
BJP was invited to form the Govt by Governor in post poll coalition with NPEP+UDP+PDF+HSDPDP," he said on Twitter.