In a major turnaround decision, the Supreme Court today ordered that a floor test be held in the Karnataka Assembly at 4 pm tomorrow to ascertain whether newly appointed BJP Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa enjoys majority in the state. "Let the House decide and the best course would be floor test," a three judge bench headed by Justice A K Sikri said.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Chief Minister, had sought reasonable time till Monday for the floor test but the bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, ordered it for tomorrow.
The Supreme Court resumed the hearing on a petition by the Congress-JD(S) combine challenging Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s invitation to the BJP to form a government in the state. Meanwhile, the Congress has sought the President's appointment over the Governor's invitation to the BJP to form a new government in Karnataka.
As it happened:
9:55 am: SC to hear Congress, JD(S) petition against Bopaiah's appointment as pro-tem speaker tomorrow at 10:30am
9:24 pm: Siddaramaiah elected as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party at a meeting of party MLAs held in Hyderabad.
09:10 pm: Two MLAs have been hijacked by our BJP friends. But, I am certain that they will come back to us: HD Kumaraswamy
08:20 pm: Lawyers representing Congress reach the Registrar Office of Supreme Court, seeking an urgent hearing on the appointment of KG Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker of Karnataka assembly
07:50 pm: MLAs from Congress and JD(S) are with us. If they don't support us, how can we prove majority? We will win the floor test 101%: Yeddyurappa
07:46 pm: There will be celebrations in Karnataka tomorrow at 5pm: Yeddyurappa
07:45 pm: More than 111 MLAs are with us. We'll prove our majority tomorrow: Yeddyurappa
06:25 pm: When Shri Rameshwar Thakur Ji as Governor had appointed Shri Bhopaiah as Protem Speaker of Karnataka in 2008, Congress didn't object. In Jharkhand, when a junior MLA was appointed, Cong leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi defended it in Court. Now they are objecting. This is Congress hypocrisy: Prakash Javadekar
When Shri Rameshwar Thakur Ji as Governor had appointed Shri Bhopaiah as Protem Speaker of Karnataka in 2008 Congress didn't object. In Jharkhand when a junior MLA was appointed, Cong leader @DrAMSinghvi defended it in Court. Now they are objecting. This is Congress hypocrisy.— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) May 18, 2018
06:15 pm: BJP MLAs to meet at 9 pm today at Shangri-La Hotel in Bengaluru
05:45 pm: Congress MLA Rajshekar Patil says in Hyderabad that all 77 legislators of his party will soon leave for Bengaluru
05:33 pm: Senior most MLA must be appointed pro-tem speaker. In a place, where BJP is trying to grab power, this practice is important. And RV Deshpande is the senior most: Surjewala
05:31 pm: KG Bopaiah is dented and tainted. He doesn't believe in the constitution: Surjewala
05:30 pm: Governor Vajubhai Vala has encountered the Constitution for the third time today by appointing KG Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker instead of the senior most MLA: Congress leader Randeep Surjewala
5:17 pm: Congress likely to file petition in court against appointment of Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker: Sources
04:53 pm: Former CM Siddaramaiah arrives in Hyderabad to meet Congress MLAs staying in Taj Krishna hotel
04:30 pm: Governor calls special assembly session on Saturday at 11 AM
04:20 pm: Rejecting objections raised by Congress, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said,"KG Bopaiah was appointed as Pro Tem speaker even in 2008 by the then Governor. That time Bopaiah was 10 years younger than what he is today. Congress is thus raising hoax objection. The appointment of Bopaiah Ji is as per rules and regulations."
Shri KG Bopaiah was appointed as Pro Tem speaker even in 2008 by the then Governor. That time Bopaiah was 10 years younger than what he is today. The Congress is thus raising hoax objection. The appointment of Bopaiah Ji is as per rules and regulations. @BJP4India @BJP4Karnataka— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) May 18, 2018
04:02 pm: Objecting to Bopaiah's appointment as pro-tem speaker, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "What the BJP has done is against the rule book. Ideally the senior most leader is supposed to hold that position."
03:50 pm: Karnataka Governor appoints BJP MLA KG Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker ahead of floor test on Saturday
Humein yeh maloom hai, kis mantri (Central minister) ke dwara unko phone kiya gaya, bulaya gaya aur baad mein pakad kar bhi rakha: Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress on 'missing' Congress MLA Anand Singh. #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/klKzCjfM8a— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2018
01:59 pm: Rs. 100 crore or Rs. 200 crore, our MLAs are with us. None of our members are going away. Today, evening or tomorrow early morning, we all are leaving for Bengaluru: GT Devegowda, JD(S)
01:08 pm: Congress stakes claim to form govt in Goa; submits letter to Governor Mridula Sinha seeking invite to prove majority in House.
01:00 pm: As per the directions of Supreme Court, we are expected to prove our majority tomorrow. We are sending our file to Karnataka governor to call an assembly session at 11 am tomorrow. We are going to prove majority: BS Yeddyurappa, CM of Karnataka.
12:38 pm: Congress-JD(S) take affidavits from all their MLAs. Affidavits to be submitted in court and later sent to the President: Reports
12:36 pm: We will obey the Supreme Court order on floor test, says Yeddyurappa.
12:27 pm: Rahul Gandhi says Supreme Court verdict vindicated Congress' stand, adding that "BJP's bluff" has been called out by court. Here is what he tweeted:
"Today’s Supreme Court order, vindicates our stand that Governor Vala acted unconstitutionally."
"The BJP’s bluff that it will form the Govt., even without the numbers, has been called out by the court."
"Stopped legally, they will now try money & muscle, to steal the mandate."
12:24 pm: BJP sources claim that eight Congress MLAs, two from JD(S) and two Independent MLAs -- a total of 10 MLAs -- are in their touch.
12:19 pm: With the BJP eight seats short of the magical 112 mark, there is still suspense over how the party will win trust vote against the Congress-JD(S) combine strength of 115.
12:12 pm: We will call Assembly session tomoerrow, and we are 100% confident of proving majority in floor test tomorrow: B S Yeddyurappa
12:08 pm: BJP sources say four rival camp MLAs are in their support. These are Anand Singh, Pratap Gowda, Nagendra, M Y Patil.
12:06 pm: SC turns town the Congress' request of videography of the floor test
12:05 pm: Prakash javadekar says BJP is ready for floor test tomorrow, will prove majority in House
12:00 pm: Supreme Court also said that oath should be administered to all MLAs before the floor test tomorrow and BS Yeddyurappa cannot take any policy decisions until tomorrow: Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Congress
11:59 am: SC has delivered a historic verdict, many important directions have been given, one of them being that floor test has to be conducted at 4 pm tomorrow under a protem speaker: Abhishek Manu Singhvi
We welcome the Supreme Court's order. We will prove majority on the floor of the House tomorrow, we are ready for floor test: Shobha Karandlaje, BJP pic.twitter.com/kMu1N2nHWp— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2018
11:54 am: SC asks BS Yeddyurappa government not to take any major policy decision till floor test is over.
11:53 am: Protem Speaker will be elected, who will administer oath to the legislatures. After that Speaker will be elected, which is again a problem for BJP as it needs majority support in the House
SC verdict has upheld constitutional morality&democracy. It's a judgement that should be celebrated. Faith of people in wisdom of SC is vindicated once again. It's set back for a party that wanted to usurp power:Ashwani Kumar,Congress on SC directing floor test in K'taka Assembly pic.twitter.com/2srcDuygg0— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2018
11:41 am: Mukul Rohatgi has urged the SC that the floor test be conducted on Monday, as the party needs time for floor test.
11:38 am: SC says floor test be hold tomorrow at 4 pm.
11:34 am: BJP's lawyer Mukul Rohatgi opposes the floor test tomorrow, says, 'need time.'
11:33 am: Supreme Court stays Congress-JD(S)'s plea challenging #Karnataka Governor's decision to nominate an Anglo-Indian MLA to the Assembly.
11:31 am: Tushar Mehta, appearing for Karnataka Government, says letter given by Congress has only names and not signatures of MLAs, while JD(S) letter has signatures.
11:30 am: Mukul Rohatgi says the letters written by Congress-JDS do not show signs of each and every MLA declaring its support to the post poll alliance
11:24 am: Abhishek Manu Singhvi, sought proper security for Congress-JD(S) MLAs in case of floor test being conducted. Supreme Court observed that it can pass an order to make proper security arrangements.
11:22 am: Abhishesk manu Singhvi has demanded video recording of floor test.
11:21 am: SC says going into legal discussions will consume too much time, let floor test be conducted tomorrow amid tight security
11:18 am: Abhishek Manu Singhvi, submits to Supreme Court that Congress-JD(S) are ready for floor test tomorrow.
11:16 am: Abhishek Manu Singhvi argues, 'Yeddyurappa claimed support, but he does not have letters of support from these MLAs or it is only his oral submissions.'
11:09 am: In Supreme Court, Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri said, 'floor test seems to be the best option.'
11:08 am: SC observed that as BS Yeddyurappa has claimed support and BJP is single largest party, there could be two probabilities. whether Guv's decision has to be tested or a floor test has to be held on Saturday.
11:05 am: It's better that the floor test be held tomorrow, i.e. Saturday, says Supreme Court.
11:04 am: Supreme Court says, 'It is just a number game, one who enjoys the majority should be invited to form the Govt.'
11:02 am: SC says Governor should be satisfied over majority, and that karnataka is a game of numbers.
11:00 am: Mukul Rohatgi tells SC that many Congress, JD(S) MLAs have told him that they are not in support of the alliance. He said that the majority can only be proved in House, and that the question is which party should be called first to form government.
10:58 am: Supreme Court wanted to know on what basis the Governor asks a party to provide a stable government. BJP's lawyer Mukul Rohatgi submitted that at this stage he does not want to say anything more.
All MLAs are intact, threats using various govt agencies are going on but we will fight it out. We were not allowed to take a charter flight last night: DK Shivakumar, Congress, in Hyderabad pic.twitter.com/2zKFEzBMVG— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2018
10:51 am: Letters, handed to SC by BJP's lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, say that Yeddyurappa has been elected as leader of largest party, BJP and he has support of necessary number of MLAs and is ready to prove it on floor of House.
Congress-JD(S) plea against #Karnataka Governor inviting BJP to form govt: Supreme Court asks counsels for letters from BS Yeddyurappa, Mukul Rohatgi hands over two letters of the BJP leader's letters to SC.— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2018
10:41 am: Certainly (BJP has the numbers), without that how can we form the govt?: BJP's Sadananda Gowda; on Congress MLAs being taken to Hyderabad he said, 'It is their right no? They can take them anywhere, even to Pakistan.'
10:38 am: The BJP alleged that the Congress has forged the signatures of many of its legislators while submitting the party's list of MLAs to the Governor claiming it had the numbers to form the government.
10:19 am: We'll show CM's letter to Court, it shows he has support and support will be shown in the house. There is no issue of horse-trading, it is the other way, as MLAs have been taken to resorts: Mukul Rohatgi, BJP's lawyer, on being asked if they have numbers he said, 'yes.'
10:18 am: Karnataka BJP MLA R Ashok approaches Supreme Court, demands permission to prove majority in House instead of court
Don't know where the MLAs are? They are misleading people for last 3-4 days. You will know how we will prove the majority&how many MLAs support the govt. We will respect SC's judgement, it'll have a bearing on further development of political scenario in Karnataka: B Bommai, BJP pic.twitter.com/2neAggHyEH— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2018
#Hyderabad: Visuals from Park Hyatt Hotel. Congress MP from #Karnataka, DK Suresh, says, 'They (MLAs) are coming here, we are arranging everything here. We are waiting for them, in another 2 hours they will come, JD(S) and Congress both.' pic.twitter.com/CGDVINUOSU— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2018
09:49 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets H D Deve Gowda on his birthday.
Spoke to our former Prime Minister Shri HD Deve Gowda Ji and conveyed birthday wishes to him. I pray for his good health and long life.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 18, 2018
09:34 am: According to sources, Congress has sought President's appointment over the ongoing political crisis in Karnataka.
09:27 am: The main concern for Yeddyurappa and BJP will be the Supreme Court's order which said that the former swearing-in was subject to the outcome of Friday’s hearing.
09:04 am: Senior lawyer and jurist Ram Jethmalani moved the SC yesterday in his personal capacity against the Karnataka governor's decision to invite the BJP to form government in the state, saying it was a "gross abuse of constitutional power". The bench asked him to make his submission before the three-judge bench led by Justice A K Sikri on May 18.
09:00 am: Congress leaders have alleged they wanted to fly out the legislators but were forced to take the long bus ride because aviation authorities declined permission for the chartered aircrafts that had been arranged.
08:12 am: Two missing Congress MLAs -- Anand Singh from Vijayanagara (Bellari) and Pratapgouda Patil from Maski (Raichur) -- have been the butt of gossip. Kumaraswamy has alleged that Centre was using Enforcement Directorate against Singh to force him to not back the Congress. On the other hand, Patil left the Eagleton Resort citing health reasons.
08:00 am: Taking queue from the dramatic political developments in Karnataka, the Congress in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya and the RJD in Bihar – the single largest parties in their respective states – have said that they will approach the state Governors and stake claim for government formation.
07:39 am: Questions are being raised on the surprising move by the two allies, more than a year after elections were held to the respective assemblies which appeared to be aimed at embarrassing the BJP.
07:17 am: The bench which heard the politically- sensitive case on the Karnataka crisis was headed by a judge, who is number six in seniority in the apex court. Justice A K Sikri headed the three-member bench, which also comprised justices S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan.
06:47 am: Experts believe that the final victory for BJP would be to win the number game on the floor of the House. Experts like senior advocates Rakesh Dwivedi, Vikas Singh and noted constitutional lawyer Govind Goel said all eyes will be on the apex court on how it deals with the situation in which the Governor has granted 15 days to Yeddyurappa to prove majority, which the Congress-JD(S) combine has criticised saying it would lead to horse-trading.
06:33 am: The bench is also likely to get into the issue of the 15-day timeframe Raj Bhavan has set for Yeddyurappa to prove his majority. The Congress-JD(S) combine have argued that the long window will be misued by the BJP to manufacture a majority in the assembly.
06:30 am: BJP can't use 2 rules for 1 game. BJP, Central govt & their governors have been exposed in front of the nation. It should be the duty of central govt to protect the constitution & democracy but it's unfortunate that we have to protect these from the central govt: Ghulam Nabi Azad
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.
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.
The Governor still invited Yeddyurappa and gave him 15 days of time to prove majority.