Karnataka Government Formation: Congress, JD(S) MLAs moved to 'safe places', says Kumaraswamy

KARNATAKA ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

KARNATAKA ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

Hours after the Supreme Court heard a petition relating to the Karnataka elections, an application has now been filed in Supreme Court, praying that newly sworn in Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa be restrained from appointing a member of the Anglo-Indian community as an MLA until a floor test is conducted. The Governor's decision was challenged in the Supreme Court, which refused to stay Yeddyurappa's swearing-in, following a rare all-night hearing.

Asked how soon he would prove majority, Yeddyurappa said he would do it as soon as possible.

The BJP argued that it should get the first chance to form a government as it is the largest party with 104 seats. "That would be an open invitation to horse-trading", the bench had said.

Sources have now suggested that the date was set hurriedly in keeping with the religious beliefs of Yeddyurappa, who wanted to ensure he ascended the high seat on an auspicious day.

Most observers were expecting the tussle between the BJP and the JDS-Cong over which of them merited the governor's invite to continue for a while.

The Governor appoints and swears in the Chief Minister, whose council of ministers are collectively responsible to the assembly. This would lead to the disqualification of the Opposition MLAs who defy their party's whip to help the BJP, bring the strength (and the half-way mark) of the Vidhan Soudha down and thereby aid Yeddyurappa's survival in power.

Calling the Governor's decision "unconstitutional", he claimed the Prime Minister was using Central agencies like the Enforcement Directorate to threaten Congress and JD (S) MLAs to break ranks and support the BJP Government. After senior counsel Abhishek "Manu" Singhvi cited the urgency, the Chief Justice constituted a three-judge bench headed by Justice Sikri.

The Supreme Court, in an unprecedented overnight hearing, did not stop Yeddyurappa from forming the government.

Hitting back, Shah said democracy was murdered the moment "desperate" Congress made an "opportunist" offer to the JD (S) to form the government in the state for "petty political gains". Also, by not giving any relief to the Congress, the Supreme Court has allowed the Karnataka governor to virtually declare his actions are above the law.

In a letter to party general secretaries, state unit presidents and chiefs of frontal organisations, AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot asked them to organise protests and dharnas at all state capitals and district headquarters against the "partisan" role of the Governor.

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.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said that democracy has been brazenly manipulated, mutilated and massacred in Karnataka.

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