Paswan defends K'taka Guv's move, says Cong-JD(S) did not have pre-poll alliance

Paswan defends K'taka Guv's move, says Cong-JD(S) did not have pre-poll alliance

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan addresses a press conference in Lucknow on Thursday. PTI Photo

Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday defended Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala's move to invite B S Yeddyurappa to form the government in the state, saying the BJP was the single largest party while the Congress and the JD(S) did not have a pre-poll alliance.

Yeddyurappa was sworn-in as the chief minister of Karnataka this morning after a post-midnight hearing in the Supreme Court which declined to interfere in the governor's decision to administer the oath of office to the BJP leader.

"The people have given maximum seats to the BJP. There was no pre-poll alliance of any party. After the poll, there was an alliance and they made (HD) Kumaraswamy made the leader (of the coalition). There was no pre-poll alliance like Bihar," Pawan told reporters.

In the Karnataka poll results, the BJP secured 104 seats, while the Congress and the JDS won 78 and 37 seats respectively. One seat each was one by an Independent, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party.

Both the BJP and the Congress-JD(S) combine had staked a claim to form the government. However, the governor invited the BJP to form the government stating that it was single largest party.

In its meeting today, the LJP, which is an ally of the BJP, passed a resolution congratulating Yeddyurappa.

Responding to a question on the demand by the Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) leader and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav that his party be invited to form the government in Bihar as it is the single largest party, Paswan said the RJD-Congress-Janata Dal (United) had a pre-poll alliance and Nitish Kumar was the chief ministerial face of the alliance.

"Even after the RJD-JDU split, Nitish Kumar passed a floor test," he said.

In the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly, the RJD has 79 members, followed by the JD(U) which has 71 MLAs. The BJP with 52 MLAs is the third-largest party, while the Congress only has 27 MLAs.

In 2015, the JDU had aligned with the Congress and the RJD. However, in 2017, it went back to its earlier alliance partner, the BJP.