The ripples of the Karnataka political upheaval, following the swearing-in of BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa on 17 May, seem to have spread beyond the state’s boundaries.
The Congress has announced plans to stake claim to form governments in states where it was denied the opportunity despite having emerged the largest party in the Assembly elections.
AICC General Secretary Ashok Gehlot issued a release, directing party workers to organise dharnas across all state capitals and district headquarters on 18 May to protest what the party termed a “blatantly partisan and authoritarian act” of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala.
All India Congress Committee General Secy Ashok Gehlot issues letter requesting all Pradesh Congress Committees, leaders & workers to organise state-wide dharnas at state capitals&dist HQs tomorrow to protest against K'taka Guv for inviting BS Yedurappa for making govt in K'taka. pic.twitter.com/5dCrttZZyp— ANI (@ANI) May 17, 2018
Congress’ Goa in-charge A Chellakumar and other party leaders will meet the Goa Governor on 18 May to insist that the Congress be allowed to form the government in the state – since it was the single largest party in the 2017 polls, ANI reported.
According to ANI, the Congress also plans to parade its MLAs into the governor’s house. The Congress won 17 seats in the 40-member Goa assembly, falling four short of the majority mark. However, the BJP, which had 13 seats, formed the government with MGP (3), GFP (3) and three independent MLAs.
"In 2017, we won 17 seats and were the single largest party and continue to be. But the Governor chose to invite the BJP, which had 13 seats. In Karnataka, Governor invited BJP as they are the single largest party. So, we appeal to Governor to invite us to form government." - Yatish Naik, Goa Congress LeaderManipur
In Manipur, former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh also plans to meet the governor on 18 May and stake claim to reform the government on the basis of single largest party, reported CNN-News18.
In the 2017 Manipur polls, the Congress had emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats, three short of majority. The BJP, with 21 seats, formed the government with National People's Party (4), Naga People’s Front (4) and Lok Janshakti Party (1).
A similar campaign is being planned in Meghalaya too, where the Congress emerged the single largest party in the assembly elections. In 2018 Meghalaya elections, NPP formed the government in coalition with the BJP and other regional parties, despite the Congress emerging as the single largest party.
RJD Follows Suit in Bihar
In Bihar, former minister Tejashwi Yadav has decided to meet the Governor to stake claim to form the government as the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is the single largest party in the state.
"We would be holding a 1-day dharna tomorrow (Friday) against the murder of democracy in Karnataka. We also request the Bihar Governor to dissolve the state government and like in Karnataka invite the single largest party, which in Bihar is the RJD." - Tejashwi Yadav, RJD Leader
I will meet Honourable Governor of Bihar along with MLAs as we are single largest party of Bihar.— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) May 17, 2018
Addressing the media, Yadav said that the developments in Karnataka amounted to
“murder of democracy”. Citing the case of Bihar, he questioned why the BJP was given 15 days to prove majority in Karnataka while the RJD was given only two days in Bihar when Nitish Kumar decided to split.
He also demanded to know how the BJP was planning to reach the 112 mark in Karnataka without poaching MLAs and planning all kinds of conspiracies.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, while addressing the media, called the Congress’ move ‘ill-informed’ and said that they should move a no-confidence motion in the respective state assemblies to overthrow the government.
"Whatever BJP’s done in Karnataka is in accordance with rule book. Congress is ill informed and as a result is making these funny claims." - Prakash Javadekar
He also said that the Congress does not have faith in its MLAs and hence, they were moved to a resort.
Karnataka Drama Sends Aftershocks
Yeddyurappa swore in as CM on 17 May, following an almost four-hour long emergency Supreme Court hearing on a plea by the Congress-JD(S) combine, asking for a stay on the swearing-in.
The rare, late-night hearing came after Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, on 16 May, invited Yeddyurappa to form the government on the basis of the BJP being the “single largest party” – with 104 seats, 8 short of the 112 majority mark.
Congress and JD(S) leaders on 17 May staged a protest in front of the state legislature building soon after Yeddyurappa was administered the oath of office by Governor Vala at the Raj Bhavan.
Among the leaders protesting were JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, along with several newly-elected legislators from both parties. JD(S) state president HD Kumaraswamy attacked the Modi government for "demolishing" democracy.
(With inputs from IANS and ANI.)
(This is a developing story and will be updated.)
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