The Supreme Court of India has agreed to hear a petition by the Congress that seeks to prevent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa from being sworn in as Chief Minister of Karnataka at 9 am, reports PTI. A bench comprising of Justices A S Sikri, S A Bodbe and Ashok Bhushan began the proceedings at 1.45 am, hours after Governor Vajubhai Vala invited Yeddyurappa to form the government and gave him 15 days to prove his majority on the floor of the house.
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi will represent the Congress while former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi will represent the BJP. The Government of India will be represented by additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta.
The petition contended that despite the BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats, the Congress in alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular) - JD(S) had a total of 116 seats (78 and 37 respectively along with one seat from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). It also demanded that an order be passed by the apex court for the Governor to invite the Congress alliance to form a government. Singhvi also told journalists that 15 days was longer than the normal time given before a vote of confidence.
It may be remembered that in 2017, the BJP – despite having got 13 seats against the Congress’ 17 in the 40-member Goa legislative assembly was invited to form the Government with Manohar Parrikar being given 15 days to prove his majority in the house.