Thursday, 24 May, 2018

BJP asked to form government in Karnataka despite lack of majority

Coastal Karnataka Election Results 2018 BJP looks all set to net the region India Elections: What Does Karnataka State Win Mean For PM Modi?
Sammy Stanley | 18 May, 2018, 06:25

In the run up to newly inducted Karnataka chief minister Yeddyurappa's swearing-in ceremony at 9 am Thursday, the 12 hour-long drama started late Wednesday when it was apparent that Congress would make its way to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra's official residence to mention an urgent matter. "Yeddyurappa's letter to the Governor will seal his fate". BJP emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, but Congress and JD (S), with their 78 and 37 seats respectively, joined hands to form a coalition in the state. Their coming together on the results day smacks of political opportunism to grab power at any cost, though the mandate was clearly against the Congress government. The apex court has posted the matter for hearing on Friday.

"Calling a person who has support of 104 MLAs as opposed to Congress-JDS alliance of 116 MLAs and then giving the person 15 days is adding insult to injury by the governor", argued senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

The bench will also take up for hearing a fresh application seeking to restrain the chief minster from nominating or appointing any member of the Anglo-Indian community as an MLA in the Assembly until the floor test is conducted. Congress finally boasted a chief minister in Siddaramaiah who both had popularity and a stature independent of the Gandhi family.

The three-judge bench, comprising justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, said they are wondering whether the Supreme Court can restrain the governor that might lead to constitutional vacuum in the state. Further in any event, the governor in the light of fast-moving developments, could not be seen to enter the political thicket by even unilaterally exercising his powers under Article 333, in the face of the looming floor test with a pre-determined motive to help the incumbent chief minister.

JD (S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda (C), speaks with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad (L) as they stage a dharna in front of the Gandhi Statue against the Karnataka governor's order to invite BJP leader B.S. Yediyurappa to take oath as the new CM of the state. "Unless we see that letter of support, we can not speculate", said Justice SA Bobde, one of the three judges on the bench. He was quoted as saying in IANS, "Usually people go to the Supreme Court for justice".

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Surjewala said Congress leaders and workers would hold protests and dharnas at various state and district headquarters across the country. The court also observed that the general trend of its past judgments was not to issue injunctions or to restrain the governor. In the SR Bommai case, it was made clear that the Governor should first demand some prima facie evidence that the party being invited to form the government commands such a majority.

A successful outcome is key to rejuvenate party members and reverse Modi's declining popularity after several local defeats in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan.

Attorney general K.K. Venugopal: "Anti-defection law would come into force only after the MLAs are sworn in".

The Bharatiya Janata Party's B.S. Yeddyurappa was sworn in as Karnataka state's top elected official in Bangalore, a key technology hub of India.

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