Bengaluru, May 16: After a fractured mandate in Karnataka election, both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal-Secular, with support from the Congress, staked claim to form a government in the state. All eyes are now on Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala after hotly-contested elections threw up a hung Assembly. Whom should the Governor invite first: The BJP, which is the single largest party or a hurriedly stitched post-poll alliance of the Congress and the JD-S? The Supreme Court judgment in a 2006 case can answer this question. Also Read - West Bengal: Suvendu Adhikari Resigns as State Transport Minister, Cracks Widen In Trinamool Congress

In 2006, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court had indicted former Bihar Governor Buta Singh, who had not allowed Nitish Kumar to form the government after Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which was the single largest party, failed to prove its majority despite the support of the Congress and the others. Singh had refused to allow Kumar, saying that it would have resulted in “horse-trading and unethical practices”. Also Read - Amarinder Singh Condemns Haryana Govt's Attempts To Prevent Farmers March To Delhi

“If a party, with the support of other political parties or other MLAs, stakes claim to form a government and satisfies the governor about its majority to form a stable government, then the governor cannot refuse formation of a government,” the bench had said. According to Sarkaria Commission, set up in 1983 to examine the relationship between the states and the Centre, the conventions are to extend an invitation for government formation in the order of: Also Read - Congress Leader Ahmed Patel Laid to Rest in Gujarat’s Bharuch, Rahul Gandhi Attends Funeral

  • An alliance of parties formed prior to the elections.
  • The single largest party staking a claim to form the government.
  • A post-electoral coalition of parties.

The ball now lies in the Governor’s court. According to usual practice, the Governor calls the leader of the single largest party or pre-poll alliance to form the government. In the case of a hung Assembly, the leader is asked to prove the majority on the floor of the House within a stipulated time. In Karnataka, the Congress and JD-S did not have a pre-poll alliance. However, it is for the Governor to take a call on who to invite first.

Of the results declared for all the 222 assembly segments, BJP won 104, Congress 78 and JD-S 37, while others got three seats.