Bengaluru, (DHNS): Giving unambiguous signals that the BJP will not leave any stone unturned to form a government in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday described the election victory as “extraordinary and unprecedented” though it fell short of crossing the half-way mark. With the Congress and the JD(S) going into an overdrive to form a government despite securing only second and third respectively, the BJP top brass “celebrated” the victory with Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah addressing supporters with a clear intent to send a message that the saffron party will not let go the opportunity as easily as the opponents want. Modi said his party will not allow anybody to “crush the development journey” in the state where it has won 104 seats, nine short of the majority, and that the Karnataka verdict showed that it was not just a “north-Indian, Hindi party” but one with supporters across the country.
Wondering what the Congress was celebrating when it has lost around 40 seats, Shah, in his address, raked up the Congress’ “failed” strategy to divide people on caste and mentioned the Lingayat minority issue, saying the Congress was resorting to divisive politics. Shah’s comments on the Lingayat issue came as he sought to portray the Congress as a party that was trying to divide Hindus. The options before the BJP is limited as it needs nine more MLAs. Even if one from Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party and an independent back the BJP, they will need another six MLAs, as elections to two seats will be held later. In 2008 when the BJP had come to power, the saffron party had won 110 seats and managed the rest after some Congress and JD(S) MLAs resigned and then re-contested on BJP ticket. Indications are that the BJP will look for cracks among MLAs in the opponent’s camp and may even try to tap disgruntled Congress leaders who are opposed to JD(S). Similarly, there are different groups within JD(S) as well.
There are number of MLAs belonging to Lingayat community, whom the BJP may approach after having projected B S Yeddyurappa, the tallest Lingayat leader, as its chief minister face. With the JD(S)-Congress and the BJP have approached the Governor to stake claim for forming the government, the scene now shifts to the Raj Bhavan which can invite either the single largest party or the largest post-poll combination to stake claim. After the Congress extended support to JDS, the BJP rushed senior leaders Piyush Goyal and J P nadda to Bengaluru to deal with the situation. Party to form govt: BJP MP Lok Sabha MP Meenakshi Lekhi on Tuesday said the multi-party system has thrown a challenge to the BJP but it would emerge “with flying colours” to form government in Karnataka. Attacking the Congress and the JD(S), Lekhi said the post-poll alliance was a “desperate attempt” by them to keep their party out of power and exuded confidence that their combine would never materialise as they would realise that people of Karnataka would not accept them. “The multi-party system has thrown a challenge to us. We are sure that we will take up this challenge and win. People of Karnataka have given a mandate against the Congress government. But instead of honouring the mandate, they are making a desperate attempt to keep us out of power,” Lekhi said.
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