BJP de­feats Congress in Kar­nataka state elec­tion

The Star Malaysia - - World -

NEW DELHI: In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s Hindu na­tion­al­ist party ended Congress party rule in a key south­ern state, but its poll vic­tory was marred by ques­tions over who has the right to form the gov­ern­ment.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s B.S. Yed­dyu­rappa was sworn in as Kar­nataka state’s top elected of­fi­cial in Ban­ga­lore, a key tech­nol­ogy hub.

The BJP has been us­ing ris­ing Hindu na­tion­al­ism in the coun­try to ride to vic­tory at the polls since Modi won elec­tions in 2014.

State Gov Va­jub­hai Vala in­vited the BJP to form the gov­ern­ment af­ter it emerged as the sin­gle largest party in the state leg­is­la­ture fol­low­ing the May 12 poll. It con­trols 104 seats in the 224-seat state leg­is­la­ture, short of the half­way mark.

The Congress party and the al­lied re­gional group­ing Janata Dal (United), which to­gether con­trol 117 seats in the newly elected state leg­is­la­ture, main­tain that they should be able to form a coali­tion gov­ern­ment and have chal­lenged the gov- er­nor’s de­ci­sion in court.

The Supreme Court said that while it was al­low­ing the swear­ing-in cer­e­mony of the BJP leader to pro­ceed, it would hear the pe­ti­tion filed by those two par­ties to­day.

Rahul Gandhi, the 47-year-old heir to In­dia’s Nehru-Gandhi politi- cal dy­nasty who took over as Congress party pres­i­dent from his mother in De­cem­ber, said the BJP’s de­ci­sion to form the gov­ern­ment in the state with­out a clear ma­jor­ity sup­port was a mock­ery of the coun­try’s con­sti­tu­tion.

“While the BJP cel­e­brates its hol- low vic­tory, In­dia will mourn the de­feat of democ­racy,” he tweeted.

The new BJP gov­ern­ment has 15 days to gather enough sup­port to sur­vive a vote in the leg­is­la­ture on its lead­er­ship. If it can’t, Congress and Janata Dal would get the chance to form the gov­ern­ment. — AFP

— AP

Un­happy with out­come: Sup­port­ers of the In­dian Na­tional Congress and Janata Dal al­liance protest­ing in front of Ma­hatma Gandhi’s statue af­ter dis­agree­ing with the swear­ing-in of BJP leader Yed­dyu­rappa as Chief Min­is­ter of Kar­nataka state in Ban­ga­lore.

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