THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 15 MAY, 2018
Will Karnataka Governor Follow Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya Precedence And Invite Combine with the Numbers?
Karnataka Governor old BJP hand
BENGALURU: It has been a day of dramatic developments. Well almost.Initial leads showed the BJP getting a clear majority in the Karnataka elections but soon the figures slumped with the BJP hovering around 104 seats, and the Congress and the Janata Dal(S) together totting sufficient numbers to cross the 112 majority mark. The Congress approached the JD-S, Sonia Gandhi telephoned JD-S leader HD Deve Gowda, Siddaramaiah appeared before the media to assert his and the Congress support to JD-S to form the government, and the deal both sides said was done.
In that they had agreed to approach the Governor Vajubhai Vala, an old Narendra Modi crony from Gujarat, to stake claim to forming the government. And any moment now JD-S Chief Minister candidate HD Kumaraswamy will be meeting the Governor with a letter from the Congress to prove the numbers and the support.
What will the Governor do? After Goa his choice is limited, and he should invite the coalition to form the government and prove their strength in their house. In the Goa elections the Congress had emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats, was unable to cross the figure of 21 seats, and the BJP with just 13 seats cobbled up an alliance and the Governor Mrudla Sinha gave them the government.
There have been other instances, as in 2014 Delhi Assembly where the BJP had 31 seats, Aam Aadmi party got 28 seats but formed the government with Congress support.
More recently, just last month, the BJP stitched up a coalition to gain power in Meghalaya. The Assembly elections threw up a hung Assembly with the Congress as the single largest party with 21 seats, short of the 30 seats required for majority. The National Peoples Party came second with 19 seats, the BJP got only two but was able to bring together a coalition to oust the Congress and bring in a government with itself as a junior partner.
Similarly last year Manipur Governor Najma Heptullah invited the BJP led coalition to form the government in the state even though the Congress had emerged with 28 seats in the 60 member House. BJP came second with 21 seats but got the numbers and letters of support from 4 MLA s each from the Naga Peoples Front and the National Peoples Party, as well as one from te Lok Janshakti party.
In Karnataka the BJP is not backing off though and has decided to meet the Governor to stake claim to forming the government as the single largest party with 104 seats, with the numbers now with JD-S and the Congress coalition. Governor Vajubhai Vala was the Gujarat Finance Minister for nine of the 13 years Narendra Modi was Chief Minister. He had vacated his Rajkot-II seat for Modi in 2001. He was the BJP chief of Gujarat in 2005-06. And he became the Karnataka Governor after Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014.
The Governor might thus, skirt precedence and use his powers to invite the single largest party to form the government, instead of the coalition that has the numbers.