The political drama following the verdict in the Karnataka Assembly election results grabbed the headlines in the major national and regional newspapers on Wednesday. With both the Bharatiya Janata Party – which fell short of majority – and the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance staking claim to form the government, speculation is now rife about who Governor Vajubhai Vala will invite to form the next government.

The Indian Express’ succinct headline captured the spectacle unfolding in the southern state.

The Times of India led with the headline “Drama’s just begun”. The paper noted that the ball was now in the governor’s court, and also reported how the Janata Dal (Secular)’s fortunes had changed – how from being seen as kingmaker before the elections, it faced the prospect of ending up on the throne. The paper also published a profile of Governor Vajubhai Vala, who was a minister for nine years during Narendra Modi’s term as Gujarat chief minister.

“Kar-nataka” was the headline of The Telegraph, which is known for its wordplay and bold headlines. The newspaper reported how both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah had called the party’s failure to secure a simple majority a “historic victory”. It quoted party insiders as saying that the two leaders were determined to form a government in the state “at any cost”.

The Hindustan Times ran with the headline “Hung House to Governor House”. The paper also reported on the conundrum that the governor is facing, and the prospect of the Janata Dal (Secular) coming back to power.

The Kannada newspapers led with headlines on the hung verdict and the chaos in the state’s political sphere. “Confused results: Strategy to form government”, said Prajavani, while Vijay Karnataka asked who the next king will be. “A lotus bloomed and a chaos that refused to die down,” said Hosa Digantha.

Vijay Karnataka
Hosa Digantha

Major Hindi dailies Dainik Jagran and Hindustan also focused on how the governor now has to decide who he will ask to form the government.

Dainik Jagran