Karnataka Government Formation: State BJP MLAs elect BS Yeddyurappa as their leader

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MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) each. The JD-S grabbed eight. Elections in two assembly constituencies have been deferred. The allegation was, however, repeated by outgoing chief minister Siddaramaiah, who accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of encouraging horsetrading so the BJP returned to power. "Yechury, Sonia Gandhi, and Deve Gowda have always had a good equation". On arriving at the Congress party headquarters for attending the lawmakers' meeting, Siddaramaiah said, "All the Congress MLAs are intact".

The BJP was trying to "misuse" its power being in office at the Centre, he charged. From the urban sprawl of Bengaluru to the mineral-rich hills of Ballari, the BJP now has a base from which it will launch its southern strategy for the 2019 general elections.

"This could be a tricky scenario for the Congress-JDS combo". Elected Congress MLA Amaregouda Linganagouda Patil Bayyapur told a news agency that the BJP had offered him a ministry if he supported BJP.

"The regional parties are clear", an opposition leader said. The Congress-JD (S) together make up for 115 seats, and have the majority to form the government they claim. The JD-S fought these elections in a coalition with the Bahujan Samaj party, the Samajwadi party, and the Nationalist Congress party.

Indeed, even during the campaign, the sharpest jibes by the JD (S) had been reserved for Siddaramiah, who had paid back in kind. The BSR Congress bagged four seats while two went to independents. Later in the day, Congress leaders Gulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, party in-charge in the state KC Venugopal along with KPCC president G Parameshwar held a closed-door meeting.

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah nearly immediately came out and announced his support for JD-S and although he did not look very happy at the time, 24 hours later the smile is back.

Mocking Congress for raising the specter of irregularities in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), Pandey said that this was the usual modus operandi of the Congress Party that wastes no time in blaming the machines that happen to be the same machines where they have emerged victorious.

Mr Modi, addressing BJP party workers, said he was satisfied with the Karnataka polls and called it a win that was unprecedented as the BJP was portrayed as a North Indian party. Reportedly, similar sentiments were voiced by some Congress leaders as well.

A victory for Congress in Karnataka would have validated its claim to lead the "secular" alliance, putting other non-BJP parties under pressure to acquiesce in it or face criticism from secularists and Muslims for helping the PM. The NCP said the Congress should forget about the prime ministerial candidate issue for now. Conversely, in the 15 ST reserved seats, Congress got slightly less votes (38%) than BJP (40%) but got 8 seats compared to BJP's 6. We are going by the rules. Similarly, what is our strategy with Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar? He was accompanied by Union Minister Ananth Kumar.

"Will heavens fall if a person is sworn in in the morning?" he said.

If the Congress-JD (S) bonhomie does not last, the biggest gainer will be the BJP. They don't believe in democracy; they just want power.

"After the election results, no party has got the majority".

A strong showing by the BJP in Karnataka has given him momentum for a re-election bid in next year's national polls and opened a path for more reforms, analysts say.

But one point in the JD (S) manifesto seems pointedly against Siddaramiah's policies.

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