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K'taka poll: BJP to rely on independents to form govt
Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | May 25, 2008 14:59 IST
Last Updated: May 25, 2008 15:33 IST
It is almost certain that the Bharatiya Janata Party will form the next government in Karnataka. However at the moment, it seems that they may fall three short of the magical 113 figure in the 224 member Karnataka legislative assembly.
The present tally indicates that the BJP has won 110 out of the 224 seats in Karnataka. One more seat is remaining to be announced and it shows that the lead for that seat is with the BJP.
While the past experience with the Janata Dal-Secular has ruled out a re-alliance as of now, it seems likely that the BJP may rely on the five independent candidates who have been elected on Sunday.
The BJP top brass is already in touch with the five independent candidates to muster their support in order to form the first ever independent BJP government in south India.
At present, the chances of the independents joining hands with the BJP is strong, considering the fact that they may be offered ministeries in the next government.
The BJP legislature party is meeting on Monday and is expected to make a decisive move in staking a claim to form the government.
The BJP will need the support of at least three independent candidates in order to form the government with a simple majority.
However the task may not be that easy considering the fact that two independent candidates who have won the elections are BJP rebels.
That leaves with a choice of the three independents who are Congress rebel candidates. A tie with the Communist Party of India-Marxist candidate (Srinivas Reddy-Bagepalli) is however ruled out since both the parties do not see eye to eye.
The BJP will have to rely heavily on Sudhakar D from Hiriyur, Varthur Prakash from Kolar and Venkatramanappa from Pavagada. All three candidates fought as independents after they were denied a ticket by the Congress.
The BJP may find it difficult to rely on G D Shekhar and S S Tangadi as they contested the polls as BJP rebel candidates.
If this option for the BJP fails and they do not manage to get the requisite numbers, they may try to split the JD-S and rope in some of its MLAs in exchange for a ministry. At the time of the coalition crisis some JD-S MLAs had evinced interest in joining the BJP.
The BJP, which had severed ties with the Janata Dal-United prior to the election, will not be regretting this decision as none of the candidates from the JD-U managed to win the elections.
Even J C Madhuswamy, the JD-U candidate who was most likely to win from the Chikkanayakanahalli, lost the elections.