Supreme Court’s verdict of BJP’s B S Yeddyurappa to go on a floor test on Saturday by 4 pm is termed as ‘historic’ by the Congress in Karnataka, as the post-poll alliance between Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) received a shot in the arm on Friday with SC rejecting a plea by BJP’s counsel Mukul Rohatgi to delay the floor test by at least a week. Here the question raised is, will BJP be able to prove its majority within a minimal time frame of 24 hours?
KPCC President Dr. B L Shankar said, “It is a good decision by the Supreme Court. As per SC’s verdict Yeddyurappa have to prove a majority, if he is unable to do so, with no other option JD(S) and our party will form the government. The floor test decision is much awaited as our next move will be decided soon after that.”
Earlier, the BJP was given a time frame of 15 days by the Governor Vajubhai Vala to prove its majority in the House, after he was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka on Thursday morning. A pro-tem Speaker will take decisions in accordance with the law on the issues of floor test. At the same time, the Supreme Court declined a request by attorney general K.K. Venugopal, to allow a secret ballot for the Karnataka floor test.
Karnataka BJP Mahila Morcha President Bharathi Shetty stated, “We respect the SC’s verdict and BJP will prove its mandate in the floor test. But it was not morally correct for Congress to disrespect the Governor’s decision. Rahul Gandhi should not teach us about saving the constitution after Indira Gandhi breaking it long back by declaring an emergency.”
During the hearing, which went on for more than an hour, Yeddyurappa placed before the apex court letters he had sent to the Governor Vajubhai Vala, in which he had staked claim to form the government in Karnataka. Rohatgi put forth his argument to the bench that the alliance formed between the Congress and JD(S) is an “unholy alliance” after the elections. He also cited the principles laid down by the Sarkaria Commission that grants 30 days time to prove a majority.
AAP leader Ravi Srivastava commented, “The situation in Karnataka is very critical. This time Congress has played a smart game by forming an alliance with JD(S) unlike during the Goa and Manipur elections. This is a very dicey condition as BJP was given only 24 hours to prove a majority. According to me, there is a possibility of Congress and JD(S) to form a government.”
A three-judge bench comprising justices A.K. Sikri, B.A. Bobde and Ashok Bhushan stopped the BJP from appointing a member from the Anglo-Indian community to the assembly until the floor test is conducted. The bench has also asked the BJP government to not take any major policy decision till it proves its majority in the House.
Since the majority mark stands at 112, the BJP either needs the support of eight legislators to increase its numbers as it managed to gain 104 seats or it will have to bring the effective strength of the Assembly down with some legislators quitting. According to reports, the party has reached out to some of the Congress’s Lingayat legislators, while these legislators are upset with Congress for supporting H D Kumaraswamy, a Vokkaliga. The BJP has asked these Congress legislators to quit their respective seats, and that the party will either help them get re-elected from the same seats in the by-elections, or they will be sent to the legislative council.
Sadananda Blore, a Karnataka resident expressed, “BJP has a mandate and there are chances that they will prove a majority in the floor test. As a citizen, we support Modi’s vision for the development as after S M Krishna’s government, there was no space for development in Karnataka. Hence, it is a wise choice to see BJP government in the state.”
It seems to be a crucial time for BJP and a perplexed situation for Karnataka. Although, now it comes across as the direction of SC to face a floor test by Yeddyurappa on Saturday in the evening was accepted with grace by him, as he has shown his 100 per cent confidence on proving the majority. After this reduced intimation period of 24 hours to prove the majority, time will only tell whether or not BJP will come into the power after the floor test.