Supreme Court of India orders floor test in Karnataka Assembly at 4pm tomorrow

Supreme Court of India orders floor test in Karnataka Assembly at 4pm tomorrow

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India today ordered a floor test in the Karnataka Assembly at 4 PM tomorrow, reducing the 15-day window given by the Governor to BJP Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to prove majority.nn”Let the House decide and the best course would be floor test,” a three-judge bench headed by Justice A K Sikri said.nnThe top court said the Pro tem speaker will take decisions in accordance with the law on the issue of floor test.nnThe apex court also directed the Karnataka government and the Governor not to nominate any MLA from the Anglo-Indian community to participate in the floor test tomorrow.nnThe bench also asked the newly elected government not to take any major policy decision till it proves majority in the House.nnIt also ordered authorities including the DGP to ensure law and order outside the Karnataka Assembly.nnThe apex court made it clear that it would deal with the constitutionality of the Governor’s letter inviting Yeddyurappa to form the government later.nnThe bench said ultimately the question is about majority which has to be proved in the floor test.nnSenior 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 for tomorrow.nnThe Supreme Court also turned down Yeddyurappa’s request for a secret ballot during the floor test.nnDuring the hearing which went for more than an hour, Yeddyurappa today placed before the apex court letters he had sent to Governor Vajubhai Vala in which he had staked claim to form the government in Karnataka.nnYeddyurappa, who was sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka yesterday, told the bench that being the single largest party the BJP was the “mandate of people” of the state who have thrown out the Congress.nnRohatgi told the bench that there was no pre-poll alliance between the Congress and JDS and they have formed an “unholy alliance” after the elections.nnThe apex court was hearing a petition moved by the Congress-JDS combine challenging the governor’s decision to invite the BJP to form government.nn”The single largest party (BJP) is the mandate of people of Karnataka who have thrown out the ruling party. The ruling party has much less members than us. There was no pre-poll alliance. It (Congress-JD(S)) is an unholy alliance,” Rohatgi said.nnAt the outset, the bench asked the Attorney General K K Venugopal, “Have you brought those letters (sent to the Governor by Yeddyurappa)?”nnVenugopal told the bench that Yeddyurappa was being represented by Rohatgi, who placed the letters before the bench.nnThe bench directed Rohatgi to give the copies of the letters to the counsel appearing for Congress-JD(S) combine.nnRohtagi, while reading out the operative part of the May 16 letter sent by Yeddyurappa to the Governor, said the BJP leader had said in the letter that the party has emerged as the single largest party in the state and they were wiling to form the government.nnHe also said that the BJP leader had requested the governor to invite the party to form government and had also said that they would provide a “stable government” and they have the “support of others”.nnIn a historic pre-dawn hearing, the top court had yesterday cleared the last-minute hurdle created by the Congress-JD(S) combine for the BJP’s ambitious surge in southern India by paving the way for Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka.nnA specially constituted three-judge bench after more than three hours of hearing, had made it clear that it was not interfering with the Governor’s decision to invite the saffron party to form government in the state in which BJP with 104 seats has emerged as the single largest party.nnDuring the high-voltage hearing, which lasted from 2.11 AM to 5.28 AM, the top court had made it clear that the swearing-in and government formation would be subject to the final outcome of the case.nnThe court had directed the Centre to place before it two communications sent by Yeddyurappa to the Governor in which he had staked claim to form government, saying their perusal was necessary to decide the case.nnSource: Press Trust of India

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