Supreme Court orders Karnataka Assembly floor test at 4 pm on Saturday

Frederick Owens
May 18, 2018

The Supreme Court resumes its hearing on Congress-JD (S) plea challenging Karnataka governor's decision to invite the BJP to form government in the state with BS Yeddyurappa as chief minister.

In what could be a big blow to the Yeddyurappa-led Karnataka government, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered the BJP to prove its majority on the floor of the house by 4 pm tomorrow.

Yeddyurappa is trying everything to poach the MLAs of Congress and JDS to prove his majority in the Floor Test.

Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala administers oath to BJP leader B. S. Yeddyurappa as chief minister of the state at a ceremony in Bengaluru on Thursday.

The BJP won 104 seats in Karnataka's 224-member legislature, more than any other party but eight short of the majority, according to the Election Commission of India.

BJP Lok Sabha member Shobha Karandlaje tweeted that her party was in contact with Congress legislators who were upset with the party leadership for aligning with the JD (S).

Rohtagi, while reading out the operative part of the May 16 letter sent by Yeddyurappa to the Governor, said the BJP leader had said in the letter that the party has emerged as the single largest party in the state and they were wiling to form the government. The top court, which started the hearing around 2 a.m. local time Thursday and ended about at 5.25 a.m., said the formation of the government is subject to final outcome of the case. The CJI asked Mr Jethmalani to make a mention on Friday when the case is to be taken up for hearing by a bench headed by Justice Sikri.

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Kerala Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran earlier invited Congress and JD-S MLAs from Karnataka to their state to avoid alleged horse-trading and poaching bid by the BJP.

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala calls special assembly at 11 am for oath-taking before the floor test at 4pm.

The Congress and the JD (S) had joined hands after the election and staked claim to form the government.

A strong showing by the BJP in Karnataka has given him momentum for a re-election bid in next year's national polls and opened a path for more reforms, analysts say.

Karnataka has been witnessing political turmoil after the announcement of results of state assembly polls on May 15.

"In fact, in a House where BJP does not enjoy a majority, as it stands today, it will need cross-voting or MLAs abstaining from voting to win the Speaker's election".

The court has asked that the letter given by Yeddyurappa and senior BJP leaders to the Governor in which it was stated that the party has the requisite number of MLAs to form the government be produced before the court. Indian television channels reported that Congress was planning to approach the Supreme Court late in the night to challenge the governor's decision.

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