With the sixth and seventh phase of polling still left, the Opposition is planning to meet the President after the elections are over, to urge him not to call the single largest party to form the government in case of hung assembly, NDTV quoted sources as saying.
According to the report, as many as 21 Opposition parties that are banding together to take on the BJP have planned to sign a letter, saying once the poll results are out on May 23, they will show the President their letters of support for an alternative government.
NDTV further quoted sources saying that the move was intended at ensuring that the President does not give the single largest party an opportunity to attempt and break regional parties and alliances.
The BJP had swept the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, winning majority on its own with 282 seats. The total seat share of the NDA stood at 336 seats. The majority mark in the 543-member Lower House stands at 272.
This time, various pre-poll surveys have predicted a clear majority for the NDA while a few are of the opinion that the NDA may fall slightly shorty of majority. Also, several political experts believe that there may be a hung assembly, with no major party gaining complete majority.
In 1998, President K R Narayan had asked Atal Bihari Vajpayee to produce letters of support before he was called to form government and seek a vote of confidence on the floor of the House. The BJP had won 178 seats while the alliance had 252 members. The government collapsed after 20 months, when it lost the vote of confidence by a single vote.
In the recent cases of Goa and Karnataka, controversy has erupted over whether the single largest party or a post-poll coalition be asked to form government.
In Karnataka, the BJP had protested after the Congress went into a hurriedly-stitched post-poll alliance with H D Kumaraswamy’s JD(S). State BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa had insisted that his party – being the single largest party as it won 104 seats and falling nine short of the majority mark – be invited to form government and it would prove majority on the floor of the House.
Just ahead of the floor test, BJP MLAs staged a walk out of the State Legislative Assembly paving way for an easy win for the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in Karnataka. 117 MLAs voted in favour of the ruling alliance led by Kumaraswamy.