Karnataka Hung Assembly: BJP, Congress+JD-S stake claim to form government

Bengaluru: Both BJP and  the Congress+Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) on Tuesday staked claim to form a government after the Karnataka election threw up a hung Assembly.

After meeting Governor Vajubhai Vala, the Congress declared that it was giving unconditional support to the JD-S, which finished third in the race for power in the state behind the BJP and the Congress.

Outgoing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said: “We have extended our support to the JD-S and conveyed our decision to the Governor.”

Counting of votes began on Tuesday in Karnataka’s 222 assembly constituencies amid tight security, an official said. “Vote counting began at 8 a.m. at 38 centres in 30 districts where 72.36 per cent of the 5.07 crore electorate polled across the state on Saturday, the Election Commission official told IANS here.

BJP 104 0 104 40
CONGRESS 78 0 78 122
JD(S) 38 0 38 40
OTHERS 2 0 2 22

Congress leader Ashwani Kumar tells news agency ANI, “I think we could not establish emotional connect with the people of Karnataka and the country. Perhaps, the Lingayat decision rebounded, no one single reason is responsible for defeat of the Congress.”

“We had a telephonic conversation with Deve Gowda ji & Kumaraswamy. They have accepted our offer. Hopefully, we will be together,” says Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress.

Votes polled in 26 of the 28 Bengaluru’s urban and rural segments are being counted at four centres across the city. “The poll panel has deployed 16,662 personnel to count votes in each segment and declare the result after the process is completed,” noted the official. The Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) were the main contenders among other national, regional and fringe parties in the May 12 elections.

In all, 2,622 candidates, including 217 women contested for the seats, which had 36 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes.

Election in Bengaluru’s Raja Rajeshwari (RR) Nagar was postponed to May 28 due to seizure of voter ID cards and countermanded in the city’s Jayanagar seat due to the death of BJP candidate and MLA B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4. Vote counting in RR Nagar will be taken up on May 31.