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Karnataka Election: BSY elected legislative party leader, stakes claim to form the govt

By Deepika

BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa has submitted the papers of his election as BJP Legislature Party leader to Governor Vajubhai Vala and staked claim to form government in the state.

BS Yeddyurappa

Addressing the media while leaving the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru, Yeddyurappa said the "the party has chosen me. I have given the letter to the Governor and he will call me, that is what I am hoping".

"He told me that he will take an appropriate decision. I'll inform you after I receive letter from Governor, he added.

Earlier in the day, BJP Karnataka chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa was elected as the state legislative party leader. The decision was taken during the initial 20 minutes of the legislative party meeting on Wednesday morning.

The Karnataka Assembly election results threw up an unexpected suspense as a simple majority tantalisingly eluded BJP and the Congress quickly proclaimed support to third-placed JD(S) to keep the saffron party out of power .

All eyes are now on Governor Vajubhai Vala who will have to decide whether to call BJP, the single largest winner of seats, to try to form the government or go with the JD(S)-Congress combine, which together have a clear majority in the 224-member Assembly.

Both sides rushed to meet Vala, their vehicles slowly cutting through the throngs of party workers and supporters assembled outside the Raj Bhavan gates, and staked claim to power.

In a roller-coaster ride for BJP, it initially appeared that the party was set to return to power after a five-year hiatus with a resounding majority. But as all the trends became known, it appeared the party will fall a few seats short of the 112 needed to form the government.

Several BJP and Congress leaders rushed to Bengaluru from the national capital.

The swift political manoeuvring by Congress in reaching out to JD(S) headed showed that it had learnt its lesson after the debacle in Manipur and Goa where it failed to form the government despite being the single largest party because of BJP's clever moves.

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