New Delhi: While campaigning for the state assembly elections, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had spoken confidently about coming back to power, but after the voting and the exit polls, the Congress appears to have had second thoughts about its performance and reached out to HD Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal Secular ((JD(S)), for a possible alliance.
According to NDTV report, the phone call was made to JS(S) spokesperson Danish Ali who had gone public with his party's preference to ally with the Congress rather than the BJP.
"This was three days ago," Ali told NDTV, speaking about the backdoor discussions that led to the Congress and JD(S) to join hands. On the other end of the line was the Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The two leaders quietly met in Delhi, discussed the possibilities and their response. "We did our homework," Ali said, adding he updated HD Kumaraswamy about the talks late on Monday night.
The crux was that if a situation arises where the two parties would have work together, they would have to act swiftly.
Soon after the counting of votes on Tuesday showed that the wind is moving towards BJP’s stride, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Siddaramaiah alerted Danish Ali that they may need to activate their Plan B.
UPA chairperson and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi called JD(S) HD Deve Gowda on Tuesday afternoon and they sealed the terms of their potential partnership.
Danish Ali said the Congress had not put any conditions during their talks.
But the BJP is determined to make sure that the Congress-JD(S) alliance doesn't snatch its chance to come back to power in Karnataka after what Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as his party's "unprecedented" victory.
BJP chief minister candidate BS Yeddyurappa insists he should be given first chance to form the next government in Karnataka by virtue of leading the single largest party that has 104 of the 222 seats on which elections were held on Saturday.
The Congress-JD(S) combine counters BJP, staking claim because on grounds that the alliance has cornered 117 seats, much more than the majority mark of 112.
But Governor Vajubhai Vala is seen to relatively have a free hand to decide who to invite because there are arguments or conventions to support either course of action.
During the NDA government's tenure, governors had sent the invite to the coalition with the majority in Manipur, Meghalaya and Goa where the Congress was the single largest party.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said if the governor invites the BJP, it would mean that "you are openly inviting horse trading, inviting defection in the parties and under the Constitution, as the head of the state of Karnataka, you should not...."