NEW DELHI: Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has invited the BJP to form the next government. The party's prospective Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa will take oath at 9 am on Thursday. The party has been given 15 days to prove majority in the house. The BJP has 105 lawmakers, including an Independent, in the 222-seat assembly and is seven seats short of a majority.
An Independent lawmaker has offered support to the BJP, taking the party's tally from 104 to 105 in the 224-seat assembly. The Congress won in 78 constituencies, the JD(S) and its pre-poll ally BSP have 38 seats.
The letter from governor's house has been delivered to BS Yeddyurappa's house.
Minutes after Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala invited BJP's BS Yeddyurappa to form the government on Wednesday evening; the Congress and JD(S) rushed to Chief Justice of Dipak Misra to ask him to cancel the governor's invitation to the BJP. The Congress, which has called the governor's decision an "encounter of the Constitution", has asked Chief Justice Misra to hold the hearing later on Wednesday night to ensure that Yeddyurappa isn't sworn-in on Thursday.
Addressing the media, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "The governor has shamed his office."
The BJP said Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has acted as per the Constitution and the Supreme Court's orders by inviting its leader B S Yeddyurappa to form the government, and accused the Congress of trying to "loot" the mandate.
Senior BJP leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also hit out at the Congress for "preaching" about the Constitution, saying its past governments violated it the most by imposing President's rule in opposition-ruled states.
Addressing reporters, Prasad said the mandate in the state was in favour of the BJP, and the Congress was unable to resist the temptation of grabbing power by allying with the JD(S) against which it fought the polls.
JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy said, "By giving 15 days time (to prove majority), the governor is encouraging horse-trading by BJP leaders, this is unconstitutional. We will discuss the plan."
Earlier in the day, Kumaraswamy alleged that the BJP promised people in his party 100 crores in cash and cabinet posts and 32 of his lawmakers had been approached by the party. The Congress said one of its lawmakers, Anand Singh, is missing. He is said to be close to Reddy brothers, the mining barons from Bellary. The two parties are planning to move their lawmakers to a resort.
Senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar has rubbished Kumaraswamy's allegations.
After the scare over missing lawmakers in the morning, the Congress and the JD(S) tried to parade all their lawmakers before the Governor, taking them to the Congress office in a luxury bus. But the Governor declined.
Three BJP lawmakers from Karnataka, including Shobha Karandlaje, have written to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and two police chiefs, alleging the Siddaramaiah government had been tapping their cellphones.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had a telephonic conversation with HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday morning and advised him to keep up the fight against BJP. See P5