With Karnataka throwing up a hung house, the ball is now in the court of the Governor, Vajubhai Vala. He would take a considered decision while referring to several cases of the Supreme Court which has set a precedent in the event of such a scenario.
Legal experts say that the convention and the general precedent is that the party with the highest number of MLAs should be invited first to form the government in Karnataka.
While on one hand the precedent states that the single largest party be invited to form the government, on the other there is nothing in the constitutional scheme that would come in the way of the Congress=JD(S) combine forming the government in Karnataka.
The Governor is now free to take a call with the Election Commission of India declaring the results for the 222 seats to which elections had been held. Experts say that the right way to go about it is to first the single largest party the chance to form the government.
Going by the verdict in the S R Bommai case, the party would have to test its strength on the floor of the House first. In case it fails the next combination should be given a chance, the experts also say.
The Congress has been referring to the scenario in Goa and Manipur when the single largest party was not invited to form the government. The experts say that this was a mistake as the Congress despite being the largest party in these two states was not invited to form the government.
The right practise according to the experts is to first invite the single largest party. In case the party refuses then the Governor would give an opportunity to the next largest party, the experts also say.