As the political drama over Karnataka continues, two independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh are at the centre of the storm who now have all the attention from two of the major political parties – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress.To understand how the two independent MLAs who can join the last piece of puzzle for the Karnataka throne, let us take you back how the stagecraft unfolded in the southern state. But first, who are R Shankar and H Nagesh?R ShankarR Shankar is only the MLA from Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) who won the Rannebennur constituency. Shankar earlier went on to support the BJP, who has fallen short of 8 MLAs, but, later he switched support to Congress.It was reported that Shankar first visited BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa’s residence and declared his support for the saffron party. However, later in the evening he backed the Congress-JD(S) post-poll alliance. At the time of writing, he was seen protesting with Congress MLAs against the Governor’s decision to call Yeddyurappa to form the government. With 63910 votes, Shankar won the Ranebennur seat in the Haveri district and Mumbai-Karnataka.H NageshH Nagesh is another independent MLA from Mulbagal. Nagesh, a former member of Congress was also an aspirant for Mulbagal’s seat. As Nagesh dreamt of Mulbagal’s ticket, the Congress decided to give the ticket to MLA G Manjunath.But, as fate would have it, Manujanth was found guilty of forging his caste by Karnataka High Court and Congress was forced to not contest the elections from Mulbagal. In the meantime, Naesh already declared to contest from Mulbagal as an independent with support from Congress.Karnataka – Congress slams BJPStepping up its attack on the BJP after its leader BS Yeddyurappa was sworn-in as Karnataka Chief Minister today, the Congress claimed he will turn out to be a “one-day chief minister” as he lacks majority and challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah to prove the numbers by tomorrow.The Congress also attacked Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, accusing him of encountering Constitution twice, first by inviting the BJP to form government yesterday and allowing Yeddyurappa to take oath today while a matter in this connection is set to be heard tomorrow by the Supreme Court.The Congress and the JD(S) had yesterday night jointly petitioned before the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the oath-taking ceremony, as communicated by the governor to the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Yeddyurappa. The court did not stay the swearing-in ceremony and the next hearing in the case is scheduled for tomorrow.Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also announced that his party will protest the Governor’s decision tomorrow by holding dharnas across the country.”Yeddyurappa will turn out one-day Chief Minister His fate as CM is dependent on the court hearing,” he told reporters here.”How come the Governor invite them to form government when the BJP does not have numbers to do so the Governor has encountered the Constitution twice he has murdered democracy, Surjewala said, alleging that the governor was working at the behest of the BJP’s central leadership.Hitting back at Shah over his “Congress murdered democracy” barb, Surjewala dared him and Modi to prove the BJP’s majority tomorrow itself on the floor of the Karnataka legislative assembly.”If you (Modi and Shah) have courage of conviction, have belief in the Constitution, have faith in democracy, we dare you to prove your majority tomorrow itself on the floor of Karnataka legislative assembly and the truth will win and democracy shall win for you will be decisively decimated and defeated,” the Congress leader said.Attacking the Congress earlier in the day, Shah said that democracy was murdered the moment a “desperate” Congress made an “opportunist” offer to the JD(S) to form the government in Karnataka for “petty political gains”.The ‘Murder of Democracy’ happens the minute a desperate Congress made an ‘opportunist’ offer to the JD(S), not for Karnataka’s welfare but for their petty political gains. Shameful!” he said in a tweet.The BJP has emerged as the single largest party in the southern state winning 104 seats, but is short of a simple majority.On the other hand, the Congress and JD(S), which have already announced post-poll tie-up, have won 78 and 37 seats respectively and claimed before Vala to have numbers to form government in the state.The Governor has given the BJP 15 days’ time to prove its majority.With inputs from PTI



R Shankar

H Nagesh

Karnataka Assembly Election 2018

Karnataka government formation

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R Shankar and H Nagesh: The two independent MLAs who are being coveted by both BJP and Congress