Bengaluru, May 18: BS Yeddyurappa, who took oath as Karnataka Chief Minister on Thursday, will produce letters of support to the Supreme Court on Friday. Dated May 15 and 16, Yeddyurappa had written two letters to Governor Vajubhai Vala on Tuesday and Wednesday to stake his claim for government formation. In the letters, the BJP leader is said to have claimed a majority support in the letters. The Apex court will resume hearing on Karnataka political row at 10.30 AM today.
The bench, comprising justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, posted the matter for further hearing on Friday morning and ordered placing before it the letter of support from MLAs presented by the BJP to Karnataka Governor.
Yeddyurappa on Thursday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will not need 15 days to prove majority. He also claimed that the Congress MLAs, who had been holed up inside a resort and are now being taken to Kerala, will vote for them (the BJP). “We are in power and we will prove our majority,” he said. Reiterating the confidence of winning majority on the floor of the House, he said, “I do not think we need 15 days to prove majority, despite the governor giving us time. I am confident that those Congress MLAs lodged in a private resort, who have undergone mental torture and harassment, will vote with the government.”
The Congress and JD-S had challenged Karnataka Governor Vala’s invitation to Yeddyurappa to form the government despite the BJP falling short of legislative numbers to claim majority in the 222-member Assembly. Voting was not held in two of the 224 constituencies on May 12 and the results were announced on May 15.
The BJP won 104, the Congress 78 and the JD-S 37. Any party or grouping needs 112 members to claim majority as per the present strength of the House. The Congress and JD-S didn’t have a pre-poll alliance but cobbled together a grouping after the results threw a hung Assembly. Together, and with a support of one BSP member and an independent, the Congress and JD-S make 117.
However, the Governor still invited Yeddyurappa and gave him 15 days of time to prove majority.
Congress Lashes Out at The Governor’s Move
Lashing out at the Governor’s move, the Congress called it “partisan and biased” and rushed to the Supreme Court for an urgent hearing that commenced at 2.20 a.m. and concluded at 5.30 in the morning.
During the hearing, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Congress, argued that the Governor must have invited the post-poll coalition to form government as no single party secured majority. He questioned the 15-day time given to Yeddyurappa for proving majority, saying the Supreme Court had earlier said that “to give such time is to encourage the constitutional sin of poaching”.
In his argument that ran for more than an hour, Singhvi also cited instances of Meghalaya, Manipur, Goa, Delhi, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir as precedents of post-poll alliances being invited to form governments.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said everything was in the realm of “speculation” as the entire matter was still “a grey area”.
Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the BJP, questioned the urgency of the matter to hear it at midnight as if “heavens will fall if a person is sworn in the morning”.
Justice Sikri asked him on what basis was his side claiming majority in the House, adjourning the hearing till Friday morning. (With Agencies inputs)