Governor Vajubhai Vala holds key to power in Karnataka

Lester Mason
May 17, 2018

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi first contested an assembly seat in Gujarat, it was Vala who vacated his Rajkot seat for him. But the single-largest party, the BJP with 104 seats in the 224-member assembly, has been invited by the governor to form the government, and given 15 days to prove its majority on the floor of the assembly. "The Governor has full discretion to appoint anyone - leader of the single largest party, or leader of the largest coalition". "The Governor assured us that he would soon take a decision on the basis of the Constitution and the Supreme Court's judgements", Kumaraswamy told reporters after he met Vala at Raj Bhavan.

In a fractured mandate, the governor may adhere to the following general order of preference in calling a party or group of parties to form the government as per the Sarkaria report. The Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) alliance is one such in Karnataka. According to the Constitution, the decision of the Governor is final and the validity of anything done by him as a matter of his discretion can not be questioned.

As per conventions, the governor is expected to first invite the pre-poll alliance with requisite numbers, followed by the single largest party and then the post-poll alliance.

Many have compared the present situation with the last year's post-poll scenarios in Goa and Manipur.


In Meghalaya, Cong won 21 seats and BJP 2. In Goa, the BJP and the Congress won 13 and 17 seats, respectively, out of the total 40 seats.

Governor Vajubhai Vala, whose role is in focus after the polls threw up a hung Assembly in the southern State, had once vacated his Assembly seat in Gujarat to enable the then first time Chief Minister Narendra Modi to contest his maiden election in 2001.

Vajubhai Vala became an indomitable leader by wresting the Rajkot (West) seat from the Congress in 1985.

Govt tapping our phones, say BJP MPs Three BJP MPs on Wednesday wrote to Home Minister Rajnath Singh alleging phone tapping of party leaders by the Karnataka government and urged him to instruct the state authority to "end this pernicious practice". He returned to take the seat in 2007 and 2012. Modi later shifted to Maninagar assembly seat but Vala's gesture helped him to gain the confidence of Modi who appointed him finance minister in his cabinet.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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