Bengaluru: Karnataka was a hotbed of political negotiations, secret huddles and brave faces on Wednesday, the day after the fractured Assembly result made it clear it would be a long and debatable way to government formation.
It is now Governor Vajubhai Vala’s call on who he will invite to form the state government in Karnataka. The BJP -- as the single-largest party -- and new friends Congress-JD(S) have both staked claim on the throne.
Missing MLAs are nothing new in Indian politics and true to form, five reportedly have gone missing since Wednesday morning – three from the Congress and two from the JD(S). There are other allegations of clandestine offers of ministership and money -- JD(S) chief H D Kumaraswamy alleged his MLAs have been offered Rs 100 crore each by the BJP to switch -- to shore up the magic number of 112 required to form government in Karnataka.
Here are live updates of what is happening in Karnataka today:
09:51 pm: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "The party that blew up the constitution to shambles is teaching us the constitution, the party that imposed President rule the most number of times is giving us lessons."
09:48 pm: "Tomorrow B S Yeddyurappa will be taking oath (as CM of Karnataka) alone, after proving majority cabinet will be sworn in," BJP leader Muralidhar Rao said.
09:37 pm: News agency ANI tweets Karnataka Governor's letter inviting BJP's B S Yeddyurappa to form government.
09:33 pm: BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai said, "Governor has invited B S Yeddyurappa to form government. Official communication has been received. Governor has given 15 days to prove majority and oath will take place at 9 am tomorrow (Thursday)."
09:25 pm: Karnataka BJP’s official twitter handle reposts that B S Yeddyurappa will be sworn in as chief minister tomorrow. However, the time has been changed from 9:30 am to 9 am.
The moment that crores of Kannadigas are awaiting is here.— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) May 16, 2018
Sri @BSYBJP will take oath as Chief Minister of Karnataka tomorrow morning at 9.00 AM at Raj Bhavan.
The movement to build our Suvarna Karnataka has started. #CMBSY
08:54 pm: Bengaluru: BJP Karnataka in-charge Prakash Javadekar shows victory symbol on being asked if Governor has sent a letter inviting BJP to form government.
08:45 pm: Congress MLAs arrive at Eagleton Resort near Bengaluru.
08:41 pm: BJP MLA Suresh Kumar also deletes tweet announcing Yeddyurappa's oath-taking ceremony.
08:40 pm: Karnataka BJP deletes tweets announcing Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as CM.
08:39 pm: "If the Governor invites anyone but Kumaraswamy (to form government in Karnataka) he is supporting and encouraging poaching (of MLAs)," Chidambaram said.
08:38 pm: "Where are you taking this country, one wonders ? Someone was offered Rs 3 Cr, someone Rs 5 Cr & someone Rs 100 Cr, anybody walking on the road has a price," H D Kumaraswamy said.
08:37 pm: "What is standing in way of the Governor from extending invitation to leader of the alliance (H D Kumaraswamy), who clearly demonstrated that he commands the support of the majority," Chidambaram asked.
08:36 pm: "Governor holds an exalted constitutional office, he shouldn't walk on a perilous path which is illegal. He's bound by Supreme Court judgement, bound to invite leader of alliance which is presented to him as an alliance that commands maturity of members in legislative assembly," P Chidambaram added.
08:35 pm: "Congress and JD(S) clearly establish majority yet Governor hasn't taken decision to invite Shri Kumaraswamy to form government. We heard Governor may have invited B S Yeddyurappa but since it is not confirmed we are proceeding on basis that Governor has not decided to invite anyone," Congress leader P Chidambaram said.
08:32 pm: Karnataka BJP’s official twitter handle said BS Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as chief minister tomorrow at 9:30 am.
07:58 pm: BJP MLA Suresh Kumar, in a tweet, said, "B S Yeddyurappa will be sworn in as Chief Minister of the state at Raj Bhavan tomorrow at 9:30 am on Thursday." He further urged people to join and participate in the event.
ನಾಳೆ, ಗುರುವಾರ ಬೆಳಿಗ್ಗೆ ೯.೩೦ ಗಂಟೆಗೆ ರಾಜಭವನದಲ್ಲಿ ಸನ್ಮಾನ್ಯ ಬಿ.ಎಸ್.ಯಡ್ಯೂರಪ್ಪನವರು ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿಗಳಾಗಿ ಪ್ರಮಾಣವಚನ ಸ್ವೀಕರಿಸಲಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಈ ಸಂತಸ ಗಳಿಗೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾಗಿಯಾಗಲು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಸಂಖ್ಯೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸೇರೋಣ.— Sureshkumar (@nimmasuresh) May 16, 2018
07:46 pm: "Hotel or wherever we go, MLAs will stay together and discuss things. Congress is compelled to keep its MLAs together because of the horse-trading that is going on," Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said in Bengaluru.
07:44 pm: Bengaluru: Congress MLAs leave from Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office.
07:01 pm: When asked to comment on Siddaramaiah, Outgoing Karnataka Assembly Speaker and Congress leader K B Koliwad said, "He thinks he is the boss of the party, the party has suffered because of his arrogant behaviour. He is not a true Congressman. Many people have this view of him but don't express it."
06:36 pm: BJP MPs Shobha Karandlaje, G M Siddeshwara and P C Mohan write to Home minister Rajnath Singh stating, ''We have every reason to believe that Karnataka govt is misusing its power and tapping our mobile phones. This is clear violation of our fundamental right to privacy."
06:12 pm: "The allegations that Siddaramaiah made on PM Modi that that latter has allowed 'horse trading' in Karnataka is condemnable, false, irresponsible and baseless," Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
05:58 pm: "Governor has assured that he will take action as per the Constitution. We have full faith in him that he will not do injustice. We have our numbers, not not even a single member has moved out. We will not allow any such thing to happen," Congress leader D K Shivakumar said.
05:44 pm: "The Governor assured us that he will abide by the constitution and give his decision. All MLAs are safely kept. We are fighting. Let us see what happens," Kumaraswamy added.
05:43 pm: Following the meeting with the Governor, H D Kumaraswamy said, "We have met the governor and have submitted the necessary documents which show that we have the numbers required to form the government. We have requested the Governor to consider our claim to form the next government."
05:30 pm: Congress and JD (S) leaders meet Governor Vajubhai Vala and submitted a list claiming support of 117 MLAs with a plea to consider their claim for government formation.
05:15 pm: JD(S) workers protest against BJP outside Governor house in Bengaluru
04:48 pm: Bengaluru: H D Kumaraswamy leads delegation to Raj Bhawan to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala.
04:32 pm: Bengaluru: Congress MLAs leave for Raj Bhavan from Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office.
03:48 pm: BJP's Ananth Kumar, Dharmendra Pradhan, JP Nadda and Muralidhar Rao met B S Yedyurappa at his residence in Bengaluru.
03:45 pm: JD(S) and Congress to meet Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala at 5 pm, reports ANI
03:30 pm: "If Congress-JD(S) are not invited by the Governor then the MLAs will sit on a 'dharna' outside Raj Bhawan from tomorrow. MPs may also join them" news agency ANI sources said.
03:18 pm: When asked if the Congress will go for a legal option, Azad said, "Stealing of MLAs shouldn't be allowed. No Governor can go against the Constitution. We can't tell you whom we will approach and whom not. At this juncture, we've complete faith in Governor that he will go by the Constitution and not party politics."
03:17 pm Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "Since 12-12:30 pm we are seeking appointment with Governor so that we can handover our two letters. First of legislator party of Congress and another of legislator party of JD(S). We haven't received any message from the Governor so far. We are waiting eagerly."
02:41 pm: Signatures of JDS and Congress MLAs being taken in support of HD Kumaraswamy. The document will be submitted to the Governor later today.
02:27 pm: "We have 117 MLAs, Governor has to give opportunity to us (JDS-Congress combine) to form government," Siddaramaiah said.
02:25 pm: Outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah accuses Prime Minister Narendra Modi of encouraging horse-trading.
02:08 pm: "No question of asking for anything (on reports that he wants to be Deputy CM). Our priority right now is to have a secular government. All the 78 MLAs are together," Congress leader D K Shivakumar said.
02:06 pm: On reports of some Congress MLAs missing from the legislative assembly meeting at Karnataka Party Congress Committee office in Bengaluru, Congress leader G Parameshwara said, "All the MLAs are intact. Some of the MLAs came late because they came in a special flight from Bidar."
01:51 pm: "Rs 100 crore figure is not only imaginary but it is what Congress-JDS do politics through. We are going by the rules, we have submitted our claim to the Governor and are confident of forming the government," Javadekar added.
01:50 pm: On horse-trading allegations, Karnataka BJP in-charge Prakash Javadekar said, "They are leveling baseless charges against BJP. Poaching and horse trading is not done by the BJP, Congress is famous for it. Their own MLAs are not happy with their alliance."
01:40 pm: Congress party, in its tweet, said '''With the 'mining mafia' on its side, the BJP appears intent on orchestrating an "Operation Kamala" redux in Karnataka. This brazen tactic of capturing power is a travesty of democracy."
With the 'mining mafia' on its side, the BJP appears intent on orchestrating an "Operation Kamala" redux in Karnataka. This brazen tactic of capturing power is a travesty of democracy. #BJPChor100Crore pic.twitter.com/ZlPvVsTbuq— Congress (@INCIndia) May 16, 2018
01:15 pm: "They (BJP) keep on calling but we don't bother about it. I have clearly asked them not to call me. I am a committed Congress person.They have been doing this from long time. This is their job," says Congress MLA T D Rajegowda when asked if the BJP had approached him.
01:02 pm: On being asked again if he had met BJP Karnataka in-charge Prakash Javadekar, H D Kumaraswamy said, "This is a bogus news. No Javadekar, no BJP leader has met me till now."
12:55 pm: "We will meet the Governor once again with state Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President. There is no question of unconditional support. We will run the government smoothly with the Congress," says H D Kumaraswamy.
12:50 pm: On being asked if he has met BJP Karnataka in-charge Prakash Javadekar, H D Kumaraswamy said, “Who is Javadekar? Who is that gentleman?” He said it was not necessary for him to meet anyone.
12:42 pm: On reports of poaching, H D Kumaraswamy said, “Forget 'Operation Kamal' being successful, there are people who are ready to leave BJP and come with us. If you try to poach one from ours, we'll do the same and take double from you. I'm also telling the Governor to not take any decision which encourages horse-trading.”
12:38 pm: “BJP's Ashwamedha Yatra started in the North, the horses have been stopped in Karnataka. This verdict is to stop the Ashwamedha Yatra,” H D Kuamaraswamy.
12:35 pm: “I have been offered from both sides (Congress and BJP). I am not saying this loosely. There's a black spot on my father's career because of my decision to go with the BJP in 2004 and 2005. So God has given me an opportunity to remove this black spot. So, I am going with the Congress,” H D Kuamaraswamy.
12:27 pm: Talking to the media after being elected the JD(S) legislative party leader, H D Kumaraswamy said, "JD(S) MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each. Where is this black money coming from? They (BJP) are supposedly the servers of poor people and they are offering money today. Where are the income tax officials?"
12:12 pm: "When it comes to proving the majority, party has to show numbers, we will do that for sure. I can't speak openly but we will definitely prove the majority. It is BJP who was given the mandate by people," says Bhagwanth Khuba.
12:03 pm: H D Kumaraswamy chosen as legislative party leader in a meeting of the JD(S) MLAs in Bengaluru.
11:47 am: "The party has chosen me. I have given the letter to the Governor and he will call me, that is what I am hoping. He told me that he will take an appropriate decision. I'll inform you after I receive letter from Governor," B S Yeddyurappa.
11:43 am: “H D Kumaraswamy will be the chief minister and there will be a coalition government. That is the only truth. People want him to be the CM. These kind of mechanistion will happen but the fact is that H D Kumaraswamy will be CM. We won't be influenced by anyone,” says JD(S) leader A Manjunath.
11:40 am: 66 of 78 MLAs reached for Congress legislative meeting at Karnataka Party Congress Committee office in Bengaluru.
11:35 am: "We have to protect the verdict of the people. They (BJP) are doing bad politics. We don't have to stoop down to their level. We are 118 in number number, we don't want anyone. No body has called me to the resort," says Congress' N A Harris.
11:26 am: “We are all together. All this is false news. In fact there are 6 BJP people, who are touch with us,” Congress’ M B Patil.
11:05 am: JD(S)' MLAs Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and Venkata Rao Nadagouda are missing from the JD(S) legislative party meeting which is underway in a hotel in Bengaluru.
10:50 am: JD(S) legislative party meeting begins in Bengaluru
10:49 am: “Governor is obliged to call the largest party, which is BJP. He should call BJP leader asking him if he can form the government. If he says he can't, governor will then call the second party and if he says he can form the government the governor should give him time to prove the majority,” former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.
10:43 am: “We are the single largest party. You have seen how the Congress and the JD(S) were fighting, six months back. Now, they want to come together and form the government,” Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda.
10:40 am: “We have already decided to go with the Congress. That's the reason we called Janta Dal (Secular) Legislature Party meeting. There is no question of taking any other decision,” H D Kumaraswamy.
10:35 am: “People want BJP government and we will make it. Anyone can create unnatural tensions, but the people of Karnataka are with us. After meeting, we will take necessary steps. The attempt made by Congress to make a backdoor entry is not appreciated,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.
10:33 am: “During the legislature party meeting the leader will be elected. From there we will go to Raj Bhavan immediately. We will claim to form the government. Most probably we will ask the Governor to give us time tomorrow,” BJP’s chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa.
10:10 am: “I don't know what they (BJP) are offering but they are trying to call our people, but they are not responding. We are all together, no one can touch our party. Our party MLAs are loyal to the party,” JD(S) leader Saravana said.
10:07 am: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “JD(S) has all the faith in their MLAs. Nobody is going to go away. Let BJP try, whatever they want to.”
10:03 am: JD(S) and Congress have the numbers. I hope, the governor will discharge his constitutional duties and invite H D Kumaraswamy to talk. If BJP puts pressure on the governor, it will be the death of Democracy, says JD(S) leader Danish Ali.
09:55 am: “We believe in all our MLAs. BJP is trying hard to get them. They don't believe in democracy, BJP just wants power. All the people are happy, nobody is unhappy here,” says Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy.
09:45 am: Outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, “All Congress MLAs are together. Nobody is missing. We are confident of forming the government.”
09:43 am: “Yes definitely there is a plan. We have to safeguard our MLAs, We will let you know what is the plan,” Congress leader D K Shivakumar said. He added, “They (BJP) are poaching our MLAs, we know that. Everyday there is a lot of pressure. But it not so easy because two parties have the necessary number. People are watching this.”
09:20 am: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "The single largest party doesn't have the numbers. BJP has 104, we (Congress and JDS) have 117. Governor cannot take sides. Can a person who is there to save constitution, destroy it too? The Governor has to cut all its previous associations, be it BJP or RSS."
09:13 am: "Political scenario will unfold in next 2-3 days. It depends on development in political parties. As of now, we aren't approaching any individuals but politics is art of possibility," BJP's Basavaraj Bommai.
09:07 am: "I got a call from the BJP leaders. They said come to us and we'll give a ministry to you. We'll make you a minister. But, I'm going to stay here. H D Kumaraswamy is our Chief Minister," said Congress leader Amaregouda Linganagouda Patil Bayyapur.
08:59 am: “There is no doubt we will form government, 100 per cent we'll do that. Wait and watch. Results came out only yesterday. It has been only a day. See what can happen in Karnataka in a day,” says BJP’s K S Eshwarappa....