While the Congress and JD(S) have claimed that they have 116 MLAs between them, thereby giving the post-polls alliance a majority and hence the prerogative to form the Karnataka government, Republic TV has accessed an exclusive signature sheet of the combine where there are at least three MLAs' signatures missing.
Out of fifteen MLAs whose names and constituencies are on the list, three of them have blank signature fields:
Since the JD(S) and Congress staked a claim to forming a government in Karnataka on Tuesday evening, there has been a frantic scramble to ensure that the MLAs all assemble at one place and aren't 'poached' by the BJP. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, HD Kumaraswamy, the chief ministerial candidate of the two parties, alleged that the BJP had offered Rs 100 crore bribes and cabinet berths, and warned that he would also poach BJP MLAs if they poached his MLAs.
The Congress and JD(S) have both claimed that all their MLAs have been accounted for and that some of them who are not in Bengaluru are on the way. However, there have been persistent reports that some MLAs have gone incommunicado.
Meanwhile, outgoing Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah has confirmed that the Congress MLAs are going to be taken to a resort, likely to be the same Eagleton resort where the party's Gujarat MLAs had been taken during the Rajya Sabha elections and the battle over the election of Ahmed Patel in 2017
Republic TV's sources have said that the BJP is in touch with a number of Congress and JD(S) MLAs and will have the required numbers. BJP's chief ministerial candidate Yeddyurappa met with the Karnataka governor again on Wednesday and staked a claim to form the government. The Congress-JD(S) are also likely to meet the Governor on Wednesday, at 5 pm, as per Republic TV sources. The two parties have threatened that they will sit on a dharna outside Raj Bhavan from Thursday if they are not called by the Governor to form a government.