Janata Dal (S) chief H.D. Kumaraswamy with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad ahead of a meeting with governor Vajubhai Vala in Bengaluru on Tuesday. Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge are also seen. Photo: PTI
Janata Dal (S) chief H.D. Kumaraswamy with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad ahead of a meeting with governor Vajubhai Vala in Bengaluru on Tuesday. Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge are also seen. Photo: PTI

BJP claims victory, accuses Congress of trying to attempt backdoor entry

PM Modi says the Congress party had failed miserably in trying to geographically limit the BJP's electoral footprint

New Delhi/Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday claimed victory in Karnataka and accused the Congress party of trying to claim power through the back door in what was clearly a hung assembly.

While the BJP ended up as the single largest party with 104 seats, it fell short of the half-way mark by eight seats. The Congress turned the tables on the BJP by supporting a bid by the third-placed Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) to form the government. The Congress and JD(S) together have 115 seats.

Addressing party workers at the BJP’s headquarters in New Delhi, PM Modi called out the Congress party president, Rahul Gandhi, for attempting to divide the nation on caste and regional lines.

“It is so disappointing to see that a party which has ruled for several years after Independence has now started hurting India’s federal structure. Not only has the party tried to divide north from south and centre from state, but this will only harm them in future assembly and general elections," Modi said after the party’s parliamentary board meeting at the BJP headquarters.

Modi said the Congress party had failed miserably in trying to geographically limit the BJP’s electoral footprint.

“They tried to make us look like a party for the north, Hindi-speaking states. But our victory record in Goa, northeast and Gujarat shows that language is no barrier and in Karnataka, we did not face any problem at all," he added.

BJP national president Amit Shah, who declined to comment on government formation, also hit out at Congress party, stating that the party was staring at decimation.

“The people of Karnataka have shown where the Congress stands. They are now down to 78 seats in Karnataka and we have jumped up to 104 seats. This shows that not only are they losing ground now, but by 2019, they will not hold any sway over the people. By 2020, PM Modi’s vision of New India will be established," Shah added.

Modi also condemned the violence in West Bengal during the panchayat polls on Monday.

“It is quite unfortunate that a land as great as West Bengal has to see such sights. It was a total murder of democracy," he said.

Meanwhile in Bengaluru, Governor Vajubhai Vala is set to decide the future course of action.

Even as the results were being announced, the day saw hectic activity in the Raj Bhavan as members of the BJP, Congress-JD(S) met Vala to stake claim to form government.

“The governor has full authority to approach anybody to stake claim to form government. The question of majority has to be decided on the floor of the House. Anybody can be called by the governor," said Subhash Kashyap, constitutional expert and former secretary general of the Lok Sabha.

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