NEW DELHI: Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday hit out at former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of encouraging horse-trading to bring the BJP to power in the state.
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said that the government formation process in Karnataka is the prerogative of Governor Vajubhai R. Wala.
"I will not make any comment as far as Karnataka government formation process is concerned, as this is solely in the discretion of the Rajyapalji (Governor). He should take a call," he said addressing a press conference here.
He said he had seen in the media the utterly "irresponsible, misleading and malicious" comments by Siddaramaiah levelling "reckless and unfounded" allegations against the Prime Minister.
"I completely deny all this baseless and unfounded allegations," he said.
Prasad said the election in Karnataka was not just a "routine" election. "This election was to elect a new government after five years. It may be appropriate to understand the nature of the mandate. And the mandate is that the Chief Minister contested from two seats and lost badly at one of them while somehow managed to win from another seat. His 16 cabinet colleagues lost," he said.
The May 12 Assembly election in the state has thrown up a fractured mandate with the BJP emerging as the single-largest party with 104 seats in the 224-member House, falling eight seats short of the 112 needed to form a government in the state.
The Minister said the Prime Minister during his address at the BJP headquarters after the party's win did not say anything wrong.
"What he spoke was seen and heard by the country. What he said was very clear that he thanked profoundly the voters of Karnataka for the way they came out to vote and sought a change and also the affection they showered on him.
"He also said that government shall remain committed for the development of Karnataka," Prasad added.