New Delhi, May 17: The drama around the Karnataka elections refuses to die down; even the Supreme Court had to be roped in to decide if the BJP should be allowed to stake a claim to forming the next government. Consequently, at 9AM today, BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa would be sworn-in and he has 15 days’ time to prove his majority on the floor of the House. All of Wednesday, the Congress-JD(S) camp claimed to have been approached by the BJP with “Rs 100 crore”, the latter insisted it played by the rules and wouldn’t resort to poaching and horse-trading, even as there were reports of an Independent and a KPJP candidate offering support to the saffron party. There were also reports of the alliance herding its MLAs to some resort to “safeguard them from the BJP”.
The Congress-JD(S) alliance also said they would turn to the Supreme Court if the Governor invited the BJP to form the government instead. Calling it the “death of democracy”, the alliance took their petition to the Chief Justice of India who quickly constituted a three-judge bench. The bench refused to stay Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in but also asked him to produce before it the letter he gave to the Governor on May 15. The court said the swearing-in and the government formation would be subject to the final outcome of the case.
After hearing the matter for over three hours, the three-judge bench, comprising justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde, and Ashok Bhushan, directed that the letter sent by the BJP to Governor Vajubhai Vala for forming the government be placed before it. Appearing for the Congress, Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “It is the biggest license to poaching if Governor gives 15 days to the BJP to prove majority.” To this, the Justices said they were wondering whether the Supreme Court can restrain a Governor that might lead to a constitutional vacuum in a state.