BJP goes into huddle as Congress announces JD(S) tie-up for Kumaraswamy govt

34-kumaraswamy (File) H.D. Kumaraswamy

In a major twist to the Karnataka election counting in which the BJP appeared to have been set to gain a comfortable majority, the Congress has announced that it has offered its support to the JD(S) to form a coalition government. Senior party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and K.C. Venugopal announced that the two parties would meet Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Tuesday evening to stake claim to form a government.

At 3:00pm, the BJP was leading/winning in 104 seats, short of the half-way mark at 112 seats. The Congress was leading in 77 seats and JD(S) in 39 seats.

According to Congress sources, the party high command, has through Azad and Ashok Gehlot, reached out to the JD(S), extending support to it to form government, and proposed that Kumaraswamy can be the chief minister.

In anticipation of its numbers allowing it to form the government along with the JD(S), the party postponed its briefing on the Karnataka election results to 3:30pm from the earlier scheduled time of 2pm.

The Congress is hoping to do to the BJP in Karnataka what it did to the Congress in Goa and Manipur. The Congress had emerged as the single largest party in Goa and Manipur, but the BJP had managed to win over allies to form the government in those two states.

Amid the reports of the Congress wooing the JD(S) to deny the BJP the chance to form a government, the saffron party has declared that it was confident of forming a government. Karnataka in-charge Prakash Javadekar declared the mandate was for the BJP and noted elections to two seats had to be held. He declared the BJP would get the numbers by evening.

However, the emergence of the JD(S)-Congress tie-up has forced BJP leaders to go into a huddle. The party will need new messaging to counter talk of any alliance.