Who is going to form government in Karnataka is anybody's guess. Congress claims it has the numbers on its side with JD(S) and is ready to stake claim. In a tweet Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "As Congress-JD(S) win 104 seats & lead in 12 seats, absolute majority for the coalition is clear. Coalition also has 56% vote share.
He tweeted 'Coalition leaders meeting the Governor shortly to stake claim as per established constitutional norms in Karnataka’s interests.'
Stating past precedent Surjewala said, 'President, K.R.Narayanan had set a fair & Constitutionally precedent by inviting Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee to form & lead a coalition Govt on 12th March, 1998.
President’s Communiqué states clearly and is a guiding light-: Former President Shri KR Narayanan elaborated in his communiqué dated 12.03.1998 when he invited Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee to form the Government.
The tweet goes on to say, 'He had said, “when no party or pre-election alliance of parties is in a clear majority, the Head of State has in India or elsewhere, given the first opportunity to the leader of the party or combination of parties that has won largest number of seats subject to the Prime Ministers so appointed obtaining majority support on the floor of the house within a stipulated time."
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.
(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."
Surjewala said, 'There are several precedence which support the decision of the Governor and then he quotes the example of Jharkhand, J&K, Delhi, Madras, Rajasthan and Haryana. Then he also goes on to say and I quote Shri Jaitely – the debate between the largest single party lacking majority Versus a combination of parties constituting a majority was answered by the former President Shri K.R. Naryanan in his communiqué in March 1998 when he invited Shri AB Vajpayee to form the Government.
For a specific standard was laid down by the then President of India and he said where no party or pre-election alliance of parties is in a clear majority, the Head of the State in India or elsewhere given the first opportunity to the leader of the party or combination of party that has won the largest number of seats.''
Congress said, ''In Karnataka, the combination of parties of JD(S) + Congress + one BSP + one independent have clearly and unequivocally stated to the Hon’ble Governor that this is a post poll coalition which has the requisite number of 117 as against the required number of 112.
The spokesperson said, ''We request the BJP they have not been given the mandate by the people of Karnataka to rule Karnataka. Actually if you look at the real number, they tell an extremely interesting story. The Congress and the JD(S) has the support of over 56.5% of the total votes polled. If you further look at it, BJP support has actually dwindled from 2014 in 2018. In 2014, BJP won 17 Parliament seats in Karnataka winning thereby 132 Assembly segment in the process and got 43% of the votes polled.
He further said, ''48 months down the line, the BJP has been restricted from 17 to 12, Parliamentary segments, 104 assembly segments where they have victory or leads and their votes share has gone down from 43% to 36%. That should also tell show the mirror of truth to BJP which has been claiming false claims of victory since this morning. All in all one situation is extremely clear – the post poll coalition of JD(S)+ Congress Party plus one BSP + one independent has a clear majority in Karnataka Assembly of 117, Congress has extended support to JD(S) to form a Government and have its own Chief Minister. This coalition with clear majority is constitutionally and legally bound to be invited to form the Government. BJP the Prime Minister and the BJP President should no longer trample upon the democratic traditions and the constitutional obligations by surreptitiously and illegally attempting to trample upon the majority will of the people.
On a question, Surjewala said that firstly no party, as I pointed out, in Karnataka has been given a clear mandate to form the Government. Neither the Congress Party nor BJP nor the JD(S) has the magic figure of 112. Naturally in a hung assembly, any two parties who are amenable to working together for the development of Karnataka, on a common agenda where they can find common meeting ground to work together. The other option would have been President’s rule which would have actually dishonoured the clear cut democratic process and mandate given to different parties by the people of Karnataka. So, in the interest of State of Karnataka and in order to give a stable Government, which has been moving on the path of progress laid down for the last 5 years under the Congress Party government led by Shri Siddaramaih. We have decided to rise above any kind of personal political interest and form a coalition in order to provide stable and a progressive Government to the people of Karnataka.''