Bengaluru: Governor Vajubhai Vala has invited the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) B.S.Yeddyurappa to form the next government in Karnataka. Yeddyurappa will take oath at 9 am on Thursday and has 15 days to prove he has a majority in the state assembly. Karnataka election results declared Tuesday showed the BJP has won 104 seats—eight short of the majority.

The Congress was quick to respond to the development. It has moved the Supreme Court for an urgent hearing against the governor’s move.

“Just now, the governor’s office has given us this letter inviting him (Yeddyurappa) to take oath and form the government," BJP general secretary and Karnataka in-charge, P.Muralidhar Rao, said at the press conference.

“We have got the invitation letter from Raj Bhavan. The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 9 am tomorrow," BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai confirmed, adding that Yeddyurappa will have 15 days to prove his majority. “We have received the letter from the governor some time back. The swearing-in ceremony will be on tomorrow (Thursday) morning," senior BJP leader K.S.Eshwarappa confirmed to Mint over the phone.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Karnataka BJP tweeted about the swearing-in but deleted it later.

The BJP’s announcement came after the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance met Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala to stake claim to form the state government. In their appeals, they said the parties have joined hands and have the required number to form the government.

The Congress and the JD(S) also submitted with the Karnataka governor a Supreme Court verdict that had upheld the BJP’s right to form the Goa government after the 2017 elections. Both parties said that going by that precedent set by the BJP, their post-poll alliance should be invited to form the government.

The Karnataka election results had on Tuesday thrown up a hung assembly. The BJP has won 104 seats, the Congress 78 and JD(S) 37. One seat each went to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party and an independent candidate.

The BJP requires the support of at least eight legislators to cross the revised half-way mark of 111 MLAs as JD(S) leader H.D.Kumaraswamy, who successfully contested from two seats, will have to vacate one of them. 222 seats out of 224 in the Karnataka assembly went to polls on 12 May.

The JD(S) and Congress said they will safeguard their MLAs from any attempt of poaching by the BJP, an exercise that has been titled “Operation Kamala". Congress MLAs were moved to Eagleton Golf Resort on the outskirts of Bengauru. JD(S) legislators are expected to stay at a five-star hotel in Bengaluru.

“The BJP has tried to contact all our legislators," said Karnataka JD(S) chief H.D.Kumaraswamy, adding that if the BJP started “horse-trading", then the JD(S) would stoop to their level and pocket twice the number from the opponent’s camp.

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