Constitutionally, the Governor is bound to invite Kumaraswamy the CM: P Chidambaram
At a press conference held on the night of 16th May, senior leaders of the Congress party, Kapil Sibal, Vivek Tanka, P Chidambaram and Randeep Surjewala criticised the actions of the Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala. Despite having the majority in the legislature with 118 seats, the Governor did not invite Mr. Kumaraswamy to form the government. Mr. Chidambaram questioned the hesitancy of the Governor of Karnataka, Vajubhai Vala since the alliance has a majority. The Congress and the JD(S) met the Governor and furnished the list of MLAs supporting the alliance. They also cited the Supreme Court judgment in the case of government formation in Goa, wherein the BJP was invited to form the government despite the Congress party having the most seats.
“The Governor holds an exalted constitutional office. He should not work in a prejudiced manner, which is illegal. He is duty-bound to call the post-poll alliance since the MLAs were present physically at the Raj Bhawan,” said Mr. Chidambaram. “There is only one way in which the Governor can uphold the Constitution and that is by inviting Shri Kumaraswamy to form the government.”
Mr. Sibal opined that not inviting the leader of the parties with the largest numbers shows that the Governor is giving the BJP time to buy MLAs to form the government. In a statement earlier in the day, Mr. Kumaraswamy said that MLAs from JD(S) were being offered Rs. 100 crores each to switch to the BJP. The Governor is bound by the Constitution to prevent such poaching.
The BJP tweeted at night that the Governor had invited BS Yeddyurappa to form the government and would be sworn in as Chief Minister at 9 am on the 17th of May. This tweet, which was later deleted, was posted an hour before the office of the Governor made it public. Congress spokesperson condemned this, terming it the murder of democracy and called the Governor of Karnataka a stooge of the BJP, as he acted against the Constitution and law of India.