The Governor has given BS Yeddyurappa 15 days time to seek a vote of confidence.
The Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru has been busy for the last two days with the politicians from three parties making a beeline to meet the Governor.
After multiple meetings with the BJP, JD(S) and Congress, Governor Vajubhai Vala has invited the BJP, led by their Legislature Party leader BS Yeddyurappa, to form the next government in Karnataka.
If the swearing in does take place, then Yeddyurappa will have to prove his numbers in the Assembly and a floor test will have to be held. The Governor has given him 15 days to seek a vote of confidence.
The Governor’s decision will be challenged by the Congress in a court of law as the party says they should have been given the first right to form the government since they, along with the JD(S) had more MLAs on their side.
Many Congress leaders have also pointed out that the SC judgement in the Goa Assembly case gives them hope that the coalition with the largest number can be invited to form the government.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, CM-hopeful HD Kumaraswamy said, “We brought to the Governor’s notice that in Meghalaya, Goa and Manipur, Congress was single largest party but Governors there allowed alliance partners with the highest number of MLAs to stake claim. When the BJP is 9 numbers short of the halfway mark in Assembly, what right do they have to form the government?”
The Congress and JD(S) have also said that they were worried about Governor Vala’s close ties with the BJP and RSS, and had requested him to take a neutral stand.
Vajubhai Vala, a two-time BJP President, had vacated his Assembly seat in Rajkot West when Narendra Modi contested his first election in Gujarat in 2001.
He has served as Finance Minister in Modi’s Gujarat cabinet and was his trusted lieutenant. He was also Speaker of the Gujarat Assembly.
By themselves, the BJP can win a floor test if they manage to bring down the strength of the House on the day of voting to 206. The halfway mark then becomes 103 — and they can sail through with their party men. On the other hand, if they manage to get one of the two independents to join them, they will need the strength of the House to be 208 — and if they get both the independents to join them, they will need the number of members present and voting to be 210. That means they’ll need anywhere between 11 and 15 members of Congress and JD(S) to either be absent from the House during the floor test, or to abstain from the vote.
SC to hear Cong petition against Karnataka Guv invite to BJP to form govt
The Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has constituted a bench comprising Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan to hear the matter in court number six.
The petition has sought a stay on the oath-taking ceremony, as communicated by the governor to the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa. In a midnight legal push, the Congress had approached the Supreme Court seeking an immediate intervention by the chief justice to stay the move, which it termed as an “encounter of the Constitution”.
The Congress urged Chief Justice Dipak Misra to hold an urgent hearing tonight itself since Yeddyurappa is slated to take oath as chief minister at 9 am tomorrow. Senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said the party sought hearing on its petition challenging the governor’s decision tonight itself.
The Congress termed the governor’s decision as “murder of democracy and trampling of Constitution”. Earlier in the evening, Vala invited Yeddyurappa to form the government and take oath as chief minister tomorrow. He also asked Yeddyurappa to seek a vote of confidence within 15 days of assuming office.
Singhvi, who has been assigned the task to lead Congress’ legal challenge against Vala’s decision, had met the Supreme Court registrar to take forward the process to hear the “urgent petition”. The Congress has termed the move to form a BJP government in Karnataka as “illegal and against the law and constitution.”
The petition prepared by advocate Dev Dutt Kamath contended that despite presenting the list of 116 MLAs, governor Vajubhai Vala has invited the BJP which has 104 MLAs to form the government and has given relatively longer time of 15 days to prove the majority on the floor of the House.
The petition, it is learnt, has also stated that an order should be passed for inviting the Congress to form the government. Kamath and other advocates earlier met the registrar for putting the petition before CJI Misra for constituting the bench. Sources said the BJP has also kept a team of senior advocates, including C S Vaidyanathan, ready to represent the party.
The Congress has also said that granting 15 days’ time to Yeddyurappa to prove majority on the floor of the House will promote horse trading, alleging that BJP will resort to poaching of MLAs of Congress and JD(S). 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.