BJP leaders met Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur on Saturday and staked the party’s claim to form the government. This was after the Janata Dal (S) offered its estranged partner unconditional support for the remaining 20 months of the term of the state assembly. JD(S) leaders also met the governor to apprise him of their decision to back a BJP government.
BJP and JD(S) leaders requested the governor to invite former deputy chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa to lead the new government.
The development came after JD(S) leader H.D. Deve Gowda spoke on the phone from New Delhi to BJP President Rajnath Singh in Lucknow.
The Governor accepted their letters and said he would take a decision within the framework of the Constitution. However, there were voices of dissent within both parties. A section of JD(S) legislators led by M.P. Prakash said the move to support the BJP was “illegal” and violated the party’s constitution as well as the rules governing the JD(S) legislature party.
On Saturday, however, both parties found a convenient punching bag in the Congress as they rushed to the Raj Bhavan to end the political impasse. They accused the Congress of attempting to grab power through “back-door tactics”, an oblique reference to meetings held between Congress and senior JD(S) leader and former home minister M.P. Prakash over the week.
"I have done my duty as leader of the Janata Dal (S) legislature party. I have handed over a letter of support (to Yediyurappa) to the governor and requested him to invite the BJP to form a government. Our legislators are united and we took a decision after consultations here," Kumaraswamy said.
He was accompanied by state unit president Mirajuddin Patel, but avoided replying to questions on whether Deve Gowda had approved of the decision to support the BJP. "You will get all the information in due course of time," he said.
Senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said his party chose to stake its claim with support from the JD(S) in view of attempts made by the Congress to form the new government. “Our party has the people's mandate and is the single largest party (with 79 MLAs) in the legislative assembly. This is not immoral or unethical,” he said.