A hung house can be a nightmare and more often than not the party which has not got the mandate ends up ruling the state. The scenario in Karnataka is no different and the JD(S) and Congress have come together to stake a claim to form the government despite the BJP being the single largest party.
There was talk that the BJP would launch Operation Lotus in a bid to poach MLAs, but it has been frowned upon by the Central leadership which wants the fight to be within the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
The BJP is confident that it would be invited first to form the government on the precedent that it is the single largest party with 104 seats. The party needs 112 in the 222 member House in order to prove its majority. One Independent candidate has already declared his support to the party which takes the tally up to 5. The party is confident that the other Independent would jump ship, once it is invited to prove its majority.
Sources say that there is a possibility of some Lingayat MLAs of the Congress backing the BJP. Reports suggested that MLAs, Anand Singh, Rajashekar Patil, Nagendra and M Y Patil are out of reach, but the Congress has denied the same. Moreover 12 MLAs were absent from the legislature party meet which has fuelled further speculations. The Congress on the other hand has already booked rooms at a resort in Bidadi near Bengaluru and would cart its MLAs there.
Adding to the speculation was a statement by Congress MLA, M B Patil who said that the BJP is in touch with the Congress. He however stopped short of revealing anything further.
Sources say that poaching the MLAs would be difficult since the anti defection law would come in the way. There is a possibility that the BJP may convince some disgruntled MLAs and ensure that they abstain during the floor test. This is also a possibility that is being discussed for now.
The BJP is hoping that the Governor invites it first to form the government. The party is citing the S R Bommai case in which the Supreme Court had said that the largest party be invited first. The party feels that it would be in a better position if it is invited as the fence sitters would then jump ship.
The other options being explored is to get at least 4 to 5 MLAs to resign. This would bring down the strength of the House and it would be easier to prove the majority. However this appears to be a harder option as it would be hard to convince freshly elected MLAs to resign. Sources say taking the abstain route would be the most feasible one for now.
If these factors do not work, then there is a chance that Yeddyurappa would face the House without the numbers and then take the Vajpayee route like he did in 2008.