Sonia ‘willing’ to crown Kumaraswamy CM in last-ditch effort to retain Karnataka

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has asked a senior Congress leader to speak to the Janata Dal (Secular) about her party’s willingness to crown HD Kumaraswamy chief minister, sources told India Today TV.

HD Kumaraswamy

Gandhi asked Ghulam Nabi Azad, the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, to reach out to JD (S) chief and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, the sources said.

Kumaraswamy, who contested from two constituencies, is Deve Gowda’s son.

The Congress’s seeming willingness to hand the JD (S) the keys to a prospective coalition government appears to be a last-ditch effort to save its southern bastion.

As of 2:31 pm, counting trends published by India Today TV showed that the BJP was leading in — or had won — in 107 seats, but its tally had hovered around the halfway mark (112 seats) throughout the day.

The Congress, meanwhile, appeared chained to a tally of around 70, and the JD (S)’s stood at 41. Trends give two other seats to other contenders.

Despite the BJP’s surge and triumphant posturing, it does look as though a hung assembly can’t be ruled out.

What does the saffron party think of the new developments?

Sambit Patra, a BJP spokesperson, said the JD (S) would never come together with the Congress.

Deve Gowda’s party is “intelligent” and won’t side with the Congress, which has become an “untouchable of sorts” in recent times, Patra told India Today TV in a live television interview.