A Supreme Court bench on Friday ordered that a floor test should take place in the Karnataka assembly at 4 pm tomorrow, where Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa will need to prove majority support.
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala had earlier given Yeddyurappa 15 days to do that.
In another setback for the chief minister, the court said he couldn’t appoint an Anglo-Indian member to the House. One of Karnataka’s 225 assembly is reserved for the Anglo-Indian community.
When the assembly is convened, a pro-tem speaker will need to administer the oath of office to all the newly-elected MLAs before a floor test can take place in the evening.
JOY FOR CONGRESS-JD(S), BJP REMAINS CONFIDENT
The Supreme Court’s order “upheld constitutional morality and democracy,” the Congress leader Ashwani Kumar, who is an attorney, said in comments published by the news agency ANI. “It’s a judgement that should be celebrated.”
“It’s a setback for a party that wanted to usurp power,” he added.
Shobha Karandlaje, a BJP MP, told reporters her party welcomed the order. “We will prove majority on the floor of the House tomorrow. We are ready for [a] floor test,” she said.
Constitution wins, Democracy restored!#BSYeddyurappa does remain a 1 day CM – Constitution rejects an illegitimate CM as also the unconstitutional decision of Governor of Karnataka.
Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) May 18, 2018
Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) May 18, 2018
The first hearing in the case took place in the wee hours of Thursday morning, after the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), whose coalition claims majority support, filed a joint plea. They made a last-minute attempt to convince the top court to stay BS Yeddyurappa’s oath-taking ceremony, but in vain.
He was sworn in hours later, despite trailing the post-poll alliance in the tally of confirmed assembly seats (although several MLAs are said to be unhappy with the coalition, and the BJP is learned to have approached many of them).
LIVE UPDATES | The battle for Karnataka
Though the bench refused to stay Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in on Thursday, it still gave the petitioners a glimmer of hope. It asked to see letters (dated May 15 and 16) submitted by Yeddyurappa to stake his claim to form the government, and said his oath would “be subject to further orders of this court and the final outcome of the writ petition.”
Meanwhile, in a desperate attempt to keep its flock together, the Congress-JD(S) combine ferried its newly-elected MLAs to Hyderabad in Telangana, a state governed by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (which is not a member of the BJP-led NDA).
Inputs from PTI