Assembly elections

‘Unwind at our resorts’, Kerala Tourism advises new Karnataka MLAs after unclear poll result

The BJP has emerged the single-largest party, though it is nine seats short of the required majority of 113 seats.

The Karnataka legislative elections threw up a hung Assembly on Tuesday. Soon after, Kerala tourism, the official tourism department of the state government, invited the newly elected MLAs to unwind at the resorts in “God’s Own Country”.

Though the Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest party, leading or winning in 104 seats, it failed to reach the majority mark of 113 seats in the 224-member Assembly. Meanwhile, the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) have formed an alliance, with HD Kumaraswamy as their chief ministerial candidate.

Both the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance and the BJP approached Governor Vajubhai Vala after the results. While the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition has sought invitation to form the government, the BJP has sought a week’s time to prove its majority in the Assembly.

Tuesday’s tweet by Kerala Tourism alludes to at least two previous incidents. Last July, the Congress flew its Gujarat MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru, the Karnataka capital, ahead of crucial Rajya Sabha elections. This was apparently done to keep the flock together after six party legislators quit the party ahead of the polls. The MLAs returned to Gujarat two days before the August 8 polls.

Similarly, in February 2017, 130 MLAs of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu were taken to a resort about 120 km from Chennai, allegedly on the orders of party leader VK Sasikala. The move came amid a power struggle within the AIADMK following the death of former Chief Minister and party chief J Jayalalithaa.

Note: Kerala Tourism’s tweet was later taken down.

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