As the Congress party tries to strike a deal with JD(S), they have reached out to the independent MLA-elects from Ranebennur and Mulbagal.

Karnataka Congress reaches out to independent candidates to keep BJP at bay
Karnataka Elections Karnataka 2018 Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 14:48

Even as the Congress high command in New Delhi dispatches Ghulam Nabi Azad to meet JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda to form a non-BJP government, outgoing CM Siddaramaiah has reached out to the two Independent candidates who have won their seats in the Karnataka polls.

Siddaramaiah is reported to have reached out to KPJP candidate R Shankar, son of M Ramachandra, from Ranebennur and H Nagesh from Mulbagal. Siddaramaiah issued a diktat to Congressmen to convince the two independent candidates to enter the Congress-JD(S) combine. Kothur Manjunath has been handed over the responsibility of convincing the two independents.

Going by the results at 3pm, all non-BJP MLA-elects could amount to 116 seats, as opposed to the 106 seats in BJP’s kitty. (These are not final numbers.)

Top sources in the Congress confirmed to TNM that the offer has already been communicated to the JD(S) and that senior leaders of the party are heading to meet the JD(S) chief. On Tuesday morning, HD Kumaraswamy, who had just arrived from Singapore left to the Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Mutt in Mandya along with his wife to offer prayers. Even as reporters waited for him in Bengaluru, he did not return to the city.

Now, it is being said that Congress leaders, led by Ghulam Nabi Azad, are likely to meet HD Deve Gowda in the evening. 

As of 2pm on Tuesday, the BJP’s tally stood at 106 seats (leads and results), while Congress had 74 seats in its kitty and the JD(S) had 40. Two independents had also been declared winners. With Congress leaders confident that the BJP might not reach the magic number of 113 all by itself, they have now offered support to the JD(S) to form the government.