BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa To Take Floor Test Tomorrow At 4 pm

BS Yeddyurappa-led BJP government in Karnataka asked by Supreme Court to take floor test tomorrow

New Delhi:  The BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa, who was sworn in yesterday as Chief Minister of a minority government in Karnataka, has to prove his majority at 4 pm tomorrow, the Supreme Court said today, drastically slashing to 24 hours the time he has to rack up numbers.

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala had controversially given Mr Yeddyurappa 15 days to prove his majority. His lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, the former central government lawyer, asked for a week today but the court rejected it.

“Better that the floor test is on Saturday (tomorrow) so that nobody gets any time,” said one of the three judges hearing the case.

The BJP is eight members short of the 112-majority mark in Karnataka. On Wednesday night, a day after Karnataka produced a hung verdict, the Governor decided to invite the BJP instead of the Congress-Janata Dal Secular combine, which claimed 116 lawmakers.

The Congress went to the Supreme Court against the governor’s decision the same night. After an all-night hearing, the court didn’t stop Mr Yeddyurappa’s oath ceremony, but said it would continue hearing the case and raised questions about the 15-day deadline for a test of strength.

Amid fear of defection, the Congress-JDS combine shifted lawmakers around all of yesterday and finally past midnight, moved them out of Bengaluru in three buses. Their plan to fly them out in chartered flights failed as Congress leaders claimed they were not granted permission.

The three buses drove into Hyderabad this morning and the lawmakers checked into a five-star hotel. But they now have to double back for the floor test.

The Congress and JDS allege that the lawmakers were threatened and also offered Rs 100 crore bribes and ministries. One of the lawmakers, Anand Singh, was “kidnapped”, the Congress claimed.

On an application by the Congress-JDS combine challenging the Governor’s decision to nominate an Anglo-Indian legislator to the assembly until the floor test, the judges said: “Let us be very clear. Till u clear the floor test, an Anglo-Indian MLA cannot be nominated.”

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