Karnataka election results can beat any suspense thriller movie. And the suspense is expected to continue for a few more days.

Karnataka presented a hung assembly on Tuesday after counting, with the BJP turning out to be the largest party but short of an absolute majority. The Congress party surprised everyone by lending unconditional support to the JD(S).

The ball now squarely rests in the Governor’s court. Governor Vajubhai Vala can give chance to BJP as the single largest party to form the government. But there are also predictions that the Cong–JD(S) – which has a combined strength of more than the required majority, could be asked to prove the majority in the assembly ahead of the BJP.

After the mandate was out, all of the three major parties rushed to meet Governor at Raj Bhavan.

The result day was a roller coaster ride for BJP. In the early rounds of the counting the party were in close vicinity to touching the magic number. And just when the celebration was in full swing at BJP offices both in Bangalore and elsewhere in Karnataka, the tides suddenly turned on it. The party ended up with 104 seats – well below the magic figure of 112.

“We had to be ready for any eventuality. So when there was a window, we chipped in,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said. “In the morning, it looked like the BJP will have enough to form the government, and on the basis of that BJP started celebrating also. Meanwhile, we fared well. JD(S) did not fare that well. And later, when the JD(S) and the Congress numbers swelled up, that was the time we felt we can make it,” he said.

The seesawing developments in the Karnataka were aptly summed up by Azad in his comments. The election carried immense importance not only for the state but also for the forthcoming parliamentary elections of 2019. Additionally, for the BJP, Karnataka represented one among the very few major non-BJP ruled states. Thus, winning the state was critical for the BJP.

The lessons from Goa and Manipur debacles have apparently been learnt well by the Congress as was evident in the swift political manoeuvring by the party to join hands with the JD(S) when a small window of opportunity to bar the BJP from coming to power in the state presented itself. In both Manipur and Goa, Congress did not manage to form the government despite being the single largest party in the states.

“We have all together discussed and decided this…. This is the opinion of the All India Congress party. Congress will support JD(S) because there is a hung Assembly situation here as no party has been given clear majority by the people,” outgoing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters.

But Congress was accused of attempting to win power unfairly by BJP’s chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa. He later on staked claim to form the government with the governor. The Congress-HD(S) combine also presented their case to form the government with the governor.

Yeddyurappa claimed that the Siddaramaiah government had bene rejected “lock, stock and barrel” by the people of Karnataka.

“The Congress is trying to subvert the popular mandate and come back to power through the back door. People of Karnataka will never accept this,” he said.

(Adapted from TimesOfIndia.com)