With Congress getting a clear mandate to rule Karnataka and the Janata Dal (Secular) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sharing equal number of seats (40), now the question is which of two parties will become the principal Opposition in Legislative Assembly.

In an effort ensure that it is named he principal Opposition, the Janata Dal (Secular) is seriously considering a tie-up with Badavara Shrakikara Raithara (BSR) Congress led by the former Minister B. Sriramulu. Sources in the JD (S) confirmed that party leaders held talks with Mr. Sriramulu on either merging the BSR Congress with the JD (S) or enering into a tie-up.

A senior party leader, who spoke to The Hindu on condition of anonymity, said that discussions were on and the JD (S) was favouring “merger” than tie-up.

When contacted, general secretary of the BSR Congress Raveendra Reshme refused to confirm the development. However, the party was keen on an alliance with the JD (S) prior to polls, but that did not materialise because of “attitude” of some JD(S) leaders, he said. “No move of the kind came to my notice now,” he said.

Party has numbers

However, regardless of merger or tie-up with BSR Congress, the JD(S) will become the principal Opposition in the Assembly, argues the former minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs and party floor leader in Legislative Council M.C. Nanaih citing Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Guide Book.

Number of votes

According to rules when there is a tie up of seats, the total number of votes polled by party candidates would be taken into consideration to accord status of Opposition party. “In this case, while the JD (S) has secured 1,33,770 votes more than the BJP”, he said.

Of the total 3,12,16,708 votes polled, the Congress secured 1,14,10,737 votes, JD (S) secured 62,69,907 (20.09 percent) and BJP got 62,23,593 (19.19 percent)., he added.

When session is convened`, the JD (S) would appeal to the Speaker to accord principal Opposition party status citing norms and number of votes party got.

The Speaker after consulting rule book and experts would take final call on the issue.

“As the situation is in our favour, the JD (S) is sure to get the status and party State president H.D. Kumaraswamy will be Leader of Opposition in the Assembly,” he noted.

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