File photo of HD Kumaraswamy. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
The JD(S)'s HD Kumaraswamy met Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala Tuesday evening, and staked his claim to forming a government in the state.
Kumaraswamy was accompanied by the Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, and former chief minister Siddaramaiah.
The Congress told Vala that it was offering the JD(S) unconditional support.
The JD(S) has won fewer seats than both the BJP and the Congress but the Congress offered it outside support earlier in the day, telling the JD(S) that it could pick a chief minister of its choice.
Kumaraswamy decided to opt for the post himself.
Baiju Narajan of the JD(S) meanwhile said G Parameshwara of Congress would be the deputy chief minister.
Karnataka has a total of 224 assembly seats, but only 222 seats went to the polls this election. (Voting was postponed in two seats.)
The halfway mark then is 111 seats, with a party needing 112 seats for a simple majority.
Official EC trends at the moment say the BJP has won or is leading in 104 seats, the Congress in 78, the JD(S)+ in 37, and Others 3.
That would give the JD(S)-Congress combine a total of 115 seats.
Intriguingly, the BJP's chief ministerial candidate Yeddyurappa got to the Raj Bhavan just before Kumaraswamy.
"Just now we met governor because we are single largest party, and that he allows us to prove majority in the Assembly," Yeddyurappa said after meeting Vala.
On his way to the governor, Yeddyurappa said "100 per cent we will form the government."
What happens next depends on Governor Vala. He can invite whichever combine or single party he thinks commands majority support in the house.
A Zee News report quoting sources though said Tuesday evening that the governor may first invite BJP's Yeddyurappa to form a government in Karnataka and that the oath-taking ceremony is likely to take place on May 17.