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Karnataka LIVE: Supreme Court to hear Congress petition next at 10.30 am on Friday

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 17-05-2018

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The Supreme Court early Thursday took up a petition filed by the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) late on Wednesday night challenging Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to invite Bharatiya Janata Party leader BS Yeddyurappa to form the next government in Karnataka. The governor gave Yeddyurappa 15 days to prove his majority in the legislative assembly.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the court refused to stay Yeddyurappa’s swearing in ceremony, scheduled for 9am on Thursday. But it did not dismiss the petition, saying it would be heard on Friday.


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Here are live updates on what’s happening in Karnataka right now. 

Follow live updates here: 

5:40 am: The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court refuses to stay swearing-in ceremony of Yeddyurappa as Karnataka chief minister. The matter will be heard next at 10:30 am on Friday.

5 am: Abhishek Manu Singhvi asked for the swearing-in ceremony to be deferred to 4.30 pm on Thursday while BJP’s lawyer Mukul Rohatgi continued his arguments

4:26: The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court refuses to stay the swearing-in ceremony of BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa as Karnataka Chief Minister at 9am on Thursday , reports ANI

4:12 am: “It’s the governor’s job to invite to oath. The President and governor are not answerable to any court. The court should not stop a constitutional functionary in functioning of his official duties, “said Mukul Rohatgi, BJP’s lawyer.

4: 03 am: This petition should not have been filed. The Congress and JD(S) should have waited for the floor test to be conducted said Attorney General KK Venugopal, according to ANI

4:02 am: “In a case like this where the opposite side is showing 117 MLAs support, how will you have 112 MLAs support?,” Justice AK Sikri asked Attorney General KK Venugopal.

3:50 am: “The matter shouldn’t be heard in the night. Heavens won’t fall if someone is sworn in,” said BJP’s lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, who added that the last time the apex court held a hearing at night was on a petition (in July 2015) seeking clemency for Yakub Memon, who was sentenced to death in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.

3: 40 am: Supreme Court asked to see letter by governor inviting BJP to form the Karnataka government. “We do not know what kind of majority BS Yeddyurappa has claimed. Unless we see that letter of support, we cannot speculate”, Justice SA Bobde said, reports ANI

2.45:am: “BJP has just 104 MLAs in support and the Governor has invited BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa to form the government. It is completely unconstitutional,” Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in the hearing of the plea filed by Congress and JD(S) challenging the Karnataka governor’s decision, reports ANI. Singhvi said the 15-day period granted to the BJP to prove its majority was “unheard of”.

2:13 am: Abhishek Manu Singhvi is appearing for the Congress and JD(S) while Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta is representing the Union govt. Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi is appearing for the BJP.

2:00 am: Supreme Court begins hearing the petition by the Congress challenging the Karnataka governor’s decision allowing BJP’s B.S.Yeddyurappa to take oath on Thursday morning.


12:00am: Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi says Yeddyurappa had asked for seven days time to prove majority but the governor gave him 15 days “which proves all constitutional norms were discarded.”


11:41pm: BJP leader Yeddyurappa tweets in Kannada: “I will be sworn in as chief minister of the state at 9 am on Thursday.”

11:37pm: JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy arrives at Eagleton Resort in Bengaluru where Congress and JD(S) MLAs are staying: ANI.

11:15pm: Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala says, “The diabolical conspiracy to denigrate democracy and annihilate the Constitution will never succeed. People of Karnataka and JD(S)-Cong will defeat the illegitimate design of BJP.”

11:05pm: Abhishek Singhvi, who has been assigned the task to lead Congress’ legal challenge against Karnataka governor’s decision, meets Supreme Court registrar to take forward the process to hear the “urgent petition”. 

PTI sources say the petition is being assigned to a judge for its early hearing. 

11:00pm: Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala says the BJP has launched ‘Operation Kamal’ from Karnataka Raj Bhavan by trashing the sacrosanct Constitution and murdering democracy. 

“Tomorrow, an illegitimate & immoral Govt will take oath, unsanctioned by law & in violation of the Constitutional norms/precedents,” he tweets. 

10:35pm: Congress has sought a hearing in Supreme Court tonight on its petition against the Karnataka governor’s decision, party leader Abhishek Singhvi tells PTI. 

10:20pm: “By giving 15 days time (to prove majority), the governor is encouraging horse-trading by BJP leaders, this is unconstitutional. We will discuss the future plan,” says JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy.

“PM Modi’s double standards unacceptable. I will be going to the Eagleton Resort where Congress MLAs are right now. The BJP will stop at nothing.. we need to protect the MLAs.” 

10:15pm: “The blessings of people of Karnataka are with the BJP. Congress is trying to loot the mandate,” says Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

10:05pm: “The governor has shamed his office. The Karnataka governor is a stooge of BJP,” says Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

“We want to ask Amit Shah that if two parties cannot come together in post-poll coalition, then how did you form governments in Goa and Manipur by superseding the single largest party?”

We will use all legal and constitutional rights available to us. We will approach the people’s court: Randeep Surjewala.

9:50pm: “The party that blew up the Constitution to shambles is teaching us the Constitution, the party that imposed President rule the most number of times is giving us lessons,” says Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Delhi.

“The Supreme Court has clearly stated that the platform of the Vidhan Sabha is the only place where the majority is to be tested,” he adds. “Congress party should not teach us what Constitution says, nor teach us the culture of democracy.”

9:49pm: “Tomorrow BS Yeddyurappa will be taking oath (as CM of Karnataka) alone. After proving majority, the cabinet will be sworn in,” says BJP leader Murlidhar Rao. 

9:37pm: Karnataka governor’s letter inviting BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa to form government: ANI.

9:35pm: “We received a communique from the Raj Bhavan, inviting Yeddyurappa to form the government and take oath at 9.30 am,” BJP state unit spokesman Vamanacharya tells IANS. “The governor has invited party’s leaders and newly-elected legislators to the oath-taking ceremony.”

9:34pm: BJP and Congress to hold press conferences in New Delhi soon.

9:33pm: “Governor has invited BS Yeddyurappa to form government, official communication has been received, The governor gave 15 days to prove majority, oath to take place at 9am tomorrow,” BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai tells ANI.

9:27pm: BJP Karnataka’s official twitter handle once again tweets saying that Yeddyurappa will take oath as chief minister of Karnataka tomorrow. Changes oath time from 9:30am to 9:00am.

9:00pm: “Shocking, if true? Will tantamount to murdering democracy, trampling Constitution and disregarding all precedents. Majority will can’t be subjugated at the whims of BJP & Modi Govt,” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala says on Twitter. 

He was reacting to a tweet by Suresh Kumar who wrote in Kannada, “BS Yeddyurappa will take oath as chief minister at 9.30 am at Raj Bhavan tomorrow.”

8:50pm: Congress MLAs arrive at Eagleton Resort near Bengaluru.

8:45pm: “Where are you taking this country, one wonders ? Someone was offered Rs 3 crore, someone Rs 5 crore and someone Rs 100 crore, anybody walking on the road has a price?” says JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy.

8:41pm: “What is standing in way of the governor from extending invitation to leader of the alliance (HD Kumaraswamy), who clearly demonstrated that he commands the support of the majority?” says P Chidambaram in Delhi. 

8:39pm: BJP deletes tweets announcing Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as CM.

8:38pm: The governor holds an exalted constitutional office, he should not walk on a perilous path which is illegal, he is bound by SC judgement,bound to invite leader of alliance which is presented to him as an alliance that commands maturity of members in legislative assembly: P Chidambaram.

8:35pm: “Congress and JD(S) clearly establish majority yet Governor has not taken a decision to invite Kumaraswamy to form government. We heard the governor may have invited BS Yeddyurappa but since it is not confirmed we are proceeding on basis that governor has not decided to invite anyone,” says P Chidambaram.

8:32pm: KarnatakaBJP’s official twitter handle says BS Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as chief minister tomorrow at 9:30am.

8:15pm: BJP MLA Suresh Kumar, in a tweet, says BS Yeddyurappa will be sworn in as chief minister of the state at Raj Bhavan tomorrow at 9.30 am.

7:47pm: “Hotel or wherever we go, MLAs will stay together and discuss things. Congress is compelled to keep its MLAs together because of the horse-trading going on,” says Ashok Gehlot at Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee office, Bengaluru.

7:40pm: “In 1996, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was called to be sworn as a Prime Minister when he was not having majority but he was leader of the single largest party. It is a precedent. The BJP is the single largest party and there have been precedents that the single largest party is called by the governor or the president,” says Union minister Suresh Prabhu.

7:15pm: Outgoing Karnataka assembly speaker and Congress leader KB Koliwad says, “He (Siddaramaiah) thinks he is the boss of the party, the party has suffered because of his arrogant behaviour. He is not a true Congressman. Many people have this view of him but don’t express it.”: ANI.

6:50pm: “BJP has 104, Congress-JD(S) might have majority to form the government, politics in the state has become dirty. The way power is being misused to put pressure on MLAs, use of ED, I-T and other agencies and allegations of Rs 100 crore, all this has become a face of our democracy globally,” says Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.

6:30pm: BJP MPs Shobha Karandlaje, GM Siddeshwara and PC Mohan write to home minister Rajnath Singh stating, “we have every reason to believe that Karnataka government is misusing its power and tapping our mobile phones. This is a clear violation of our fundamental right to privacy.” 

6:18pm: “The allegations that Siddaramaiah made on PM Modi that he has allowed horse trading in Karnataka is condemnable, false, irresponsible and baseless,” says Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

6:05pm: “The Congress has decided to support the JD(S) to form government in Karnataka to keep the BJP out of power,” senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily tells PTI.

6:00pm: “The governor has assured that he will take action as per the Constitution. We have full faith in him that he will not do injustice. We have our numbers, not even a single member has moved out. We will not allow any such thing to happen,” says Congress leader DK Shivakumar. 

5:45pm: People in power murdering democracy, says Congress leader Ashok Gehlot.

5:35pm: “We have submitted the necessary documents which show that we have the numbers required to form the government. He (governor of Karnataka) promised he will consider according to the Constitution,” says HD Kumaraswamy after meeting the governor.

5:20pm: JD(S) workers protest against BJP outside Governor house in Bengaluru: ANI. Congress leaders also reach Raj Bhawan.

5:00pm: Kumaraswamy reaches Raj Bhawan with busload of JD(S) MLAs.

Have enough numbers to form a stable government, says Kumaraswamy.

4:55pm: HD Kumaraswamy leads delegation to Raj Bhawan to meet governor Vajubhai Vala

3.45pm: JD(S) and Congress will meet Governor Vala at 5pm, reports ANI.

3.43pm: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah says MLAs who switch parties should be banned from contesting polls for one term.

3.23pm: If Congress and JD(S) are not invited by the governor, then the MLAs will sit on a dharna outside Raj Bhawan from tomorrow, and MPs may also join them, reports ANI quoting sources.

3.10pm: CPI general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy expresses doubt over JD(S) and Congress being allowed to form government together. “It’s good they have come together but we have doubts. Raj Bhavan as the ‘centre of conspiracies’ by the BJP... they may not allow them even though they have required numbers, may not be allowed to form the government,” Reddy told PTI.

3.06pm: Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad says the party is waiting to hear from the governor’s house. “Both the Congress president and JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy have sought an appointment with the governor to hand over two letters signed by the legislature parties of Congress and JD(S),” he says.

2.56pm: Siddaramaiah thanks the people of Karnataka for their verdict.

2.50pm: Governor should convene the assembly quickly to settle the issue of majority as any delay would give elbow room for political parties to indulge in horse-trading, retired Supreme Court Judge N Santosh Hegde said.

“No party has got any majority and the happenings thereafter... I am not very happy because many unconstitutional methods are being tried to cobble up majority,” the former Solicitor General of India told PTI. “So, sooner the Governor calls the House and call upon the people to prove the majority, better it is.”

2.30pm: Siddaramaiah accuses PM Narendra Modi of encouraging horse-trading.

2.25pm: Signatures of JD(S) and Congress MLAs are being collected in support of Kumaraswamy. The document will be submitted to the governor later today.

2.09pm: Congress’ Shivakumar denies reports of wanting to be deputy chief minister. “No question of asking for anything. Our priority right now is to have a secular government. All the 78 MLAs are together.”

2.05pm: Karnataka Congress chief Parameshwara says, “All the MLAs are intact. Some of the MLAs came late because they came in a special flight from Bidar.” He was responding to reports of 12 Congress MLAs absent at the party’s legislative meeting in Bengaluru.

1.59pm: “Rs 100 crore figure is not only imaginary but it is what Congress-JDS do politics through. We are going by rules, we have submitted our claim to the Governor and are confident of forming government,” says Javadekar.

1.55pm: BJP’s Prakash Javadekar denies horse-trading allegations by Congress and JD(S). “They are levelling baseless charges against BJP. Poaching and horse-trading is not done by BJP. Congress is famous for it. Their own MLAs are not happy with their alliance.”

1.20pm: Congress will move Supreme Court if the governor invites BJP to form government, reports NDTV.

1.14pm: Congress MLA TD Rajegowda says, “They (BJP) keep on calling but we don’t bother about it. I have clearly asked them not to call me. I am a committed Congress person.They have been doing this from long time. This is their job.”

1.03pm: “This is a bogus news. No Javadekar, no BJP leader has met me till now,” says Kumaraswamy on being asked about meeting with BJP’s Javadekar.

12.59pm: Congress is taking its MLAs to Eagleton resort in Bengaluru, say reports.

12.55pm: Kumaraswamy says he will meet the governor again along with Karnataka Congress president, G Parameshwara. “Congress has given us unconditional support, we have good understanding,” he says.

12.49pm: On being asked if he had met BJP Karnataka in-charge Prakash Javadekar, Kumaraswamy says, “Who is Javadekar? Who is that gentleman?”

12.41pm: “Forget ‘Operation Kamal’ being successful, there are people who are ready to leave BJP and come with us. If you try to poach one from ours, we’ll do the same and take double from you. I’m also telling the Governor to not take any decision which encourages horse-trading,” says Kumaraswamy.

12.39pm: Kumaraswamy slams BJP at the conference and says, “BJP’s Ashwamedha Yatra started in the north, the horses have been stopped in Karnataka. This verdict is to stop the Ashwamedha Yatra.”

12.37pm: R Shankar, independent MLA from Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP), has been spotted with the BJP delegation at the Governor House in Bengaluru, ANI reports. Yeddyurappa said Shankar had submitted a letter offering his support to the BJP.

12.35pm: “I have been offered from both sides. I am not saying this loosely. There’s a black spot on my father’s career because of my decision to go with the BJP in 2004 and 2005. God has given me opportunity to remove this black spot. So I am going with Congress,” says Kumaraswamy.

12.27pm: “JD(S) MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each. Where is this black money coming from? They are supposedly the servers of poor people and they are offering money today. Where are the income tax officials?” HD Kumaraswamy says at the press conference after the JD(S) party meeting.

12.13pm: BJP’s Bhagwanth Khuba says, “When it comes to proving the majority, party has to show numbers, we will do that for sure. I can’t speak openly but we will definitely prove the majority. It is BJP who was given the mandate by people.”

12.03pm: HD Kumaraswamy has been chosen as legislative party leader in a meeting of the JD(S) MLAs in Bengaluru, ANI reports.

11.49am: JD(S) leader A Manjunath says, “Kumaraswamy will be the chief minister and there’ll be a coalition government. That is the only truth. People want him to be the CM. These kind of machinations will happen but the fact is that HD Kumaraswamy will be CM. We won’t be influenced by anyone.”

11.46am: “The party has chosen me. I have given the letter to the governor and he will call me, that is what I am hoping. He told me that he will take an appropriate decision. I’ll inform you after I receive letter from governor,” says Yeddyurappa.

11.45am: Yeddyurappa says he met the governor and requested him to allow him to form government and let him take oath as chief minister. The governor said he will take a decision as early as possible, he says.

11.37am: 66 out of Congress’ 78 MLAs reached its legislative party meeting at the party office in Bengaluru, reports ANI.

11.31am: Congress MLA NA Harris says, “We have to protect the verdict of the people. They (BJP) are doing bad politics. We don’t have to stoop down to their level. We are 118 in number number, we don’t want anyone. No body has called me to the resort.”

Harris won the election from Shantinagar constituency.

11.27am: Congress dismisses reports of MLAs being poached. “We are all together. All this is false news. In fact, there are 6 BJP people who are in touch with us,” says MB Patil.

11.26am: Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil has expressed surprise over the Karnataka poll results and demanded the use of paper ballots in future elections instead of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). He claimed the ‘wave’ of BJP’s popularity was now receding and therefore, the NCP and the Congress were working towards forging alliance in future polls.

11.13am: Yeddyurappa has been elected as BJP’s legislative party leader and is headed to meet the governor, say reports.

11.08am: Congress party meet was delayed as MLAs Rajshekhar Patil, Nagendra and Anand Singh could not be traced, reports NDTV.

11.05am: Two JD(S) MLAs, Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and Venkata Rao Nadagouda, are missing from the party’s legislative party meeting which is going on at a hotel in Bengaluru, reports ANI.

10.55am: Former attorney general Mukul Rohtagi says, “The governor is obliged to call the largest party, which is the BJP. He should call BJP leader asking him if he can form government. If he says he can’t, governor will then call second party and if he says he can form government, governor should give him time to prove majority.”

10.52am: JD(S) legislative party meeting begins in Bengaluru.

10.50am: BJP’s DV Sadananda Gowda says, “We are the single largest party. You have seen how Congress and JD(S) were fighting six months back. Now, they want to come together and make government.”

10.45am: The BSE benchmark Sensex tumbled over 245 points in early session today amid uncertainty over government formation in Karnataka and sustained foreign fund outflows. The 30-share index was trading lower by 245.23 points, or 0.69 per cent, at 35,298.71.

10.40am: HD Kumaraswamy says, “We have already decided to go with Congress. That’s the reason we called JD(S) legislature party meeting. There is no question of taking any other decision.”

Congress and JD(S) have agreed on appointing Kumaraswamy as chief minister in the coalition government they seek to form.

10.35am: Prakash Javadekar says, “People want BJP government and we will make it. Anyone can create unnatural tensions, but people of Karnataka are with us. After meeting, we will take necessary steps. This attempt made by Congress to make a backdoor entry is not appreciated.”

10.22am: Yeddyurappa says, “During the legislature party meeting the leader will be elected. From there we will go to Raj Bhavan immediately. We will claim to form the govt. Most probably we will ask the Governor to give us time tomorrow.”

10.15am: Ram Madhav writes on Facebook about the fall of the BJP government in Gujarat in 1996 “thanks to Congress’ Governor Krishnapal Singh” and says karma has come to haunt Congress.

10.01am: Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, JP Nadda and Prakash Javadekar arrive at BJP office in Bengaluru for legislative party meeting. The three leaders are the party’s observers for Karnataka.

9.45am: “I don’t know what they (BJP) are offering but they are trying to call our people, but they are not responding. We are all together, no one can touch our party. Our party MLAs are loyal to the party:”says JD(S)’ Saravana.

9.41am: “JD(S) has all the faith in their MLAs. Nobody is going to go away. Let BJP try whatever they want to,” says Ghulam Nabi Azad.

ALSO READ: A look at Karnataka’s tryst with rocky coalition governments

9.35am: This is not the first time Karnataka stares at a possible coalition government with two parties — in this case the Congress and the JD(S) — coming together to try and form a government in the state.

9.26am: “JD(S) and Congress have the numbers. I hope the governor will discharge his constitutional duties and invite HD Kumaraswamy to talk. If BJP puts pressure on the governor, it will be the death of democracy,” JD(S)’ Danish Ali tell ANI.

9.22am: Congress’ Ramalinga Reddy tells ANI,“We believe in all our MLAs. BJP is trying hard to get them. They don’t believe in democracy, BJP just wants power. All the people are happy, nobody is unhappy here.” Reddy is home minister in the Siddaramaiah government. He won this election from the BTM Layout seat.

IN PICS: Top winners and losers

9.18am: Siddaramaiah reaches the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office. “All the Congress MLAs are intact. Nobody is missing. We are confident of forming the government,” he says.

9.15am: Congress’ DK Shivakumar says there is a plan to shift the party MLAs. “Yes definitely there is a plan. We have to safeguard our MLAs, We will let you know what is the plan,” he says.

“They (BJP) are poaching our MLAs, we know that. Everyday there is a lot of pressure. But it not so easy because two parties have the necessary number. People are watching this,” Shivakumar says.

9.10am: “The single largest party doesn’t have the numbers. BJP has 104, we (Congress and JD-S) have 117. Governor cannot take sides. Can a person who is there to save the Constitution destroy it too? The governor has to cut all its previous associations, be it BJP or RSS,” Ghulam Nabi Azad tells ANI.

9.04am: On being asked how BJP will get the numbers to form government, BJP’s Basavaraj Bommai says, “Political scenario will unfold in next 2-3 days. It depends on development in political parties. As of now, we aren’t approaching any individuals but politics is art of possibility.” 

Bommai won from Shiggaon in the election.

8.59am: “I got a call from the BJP leaders. They said come to us and we’ll give a ministry to you. We’ll make you a minister. But, I’m going to stay here. HD Kumaraswamy is our chief minister,” says Amaregouda Linganagouda Patil Bayyapur of the Congress.

Bayyapur won from Kushtagi seat.

8.44pm: BJP’s KS Eshwarappa says,“There is no doubt we will form government, 100 per cent we’ll do that. Wait and watch. Results came out only yesterday. It has been only a day. See what can happen in Karnataka in a day.”

Eshwarappa won from Shivamogga constituency in the election.

8.37am: Congress general secretary and MP KC Venugopal and other Congress MLAs arrive at Karnataka Congress office for the party legislative meeting.

* The governor is said to have told both delegations BJP and the Congress-JD(S) delegations that he will take a decision once he receives communication from the election commission about the poll results.

* Siddaramaiah has called a meeting on Wednesday of the newly elected Congress and JD(S) MLAs will be there. “We are supporting JD(S) to form govt and have sent this resolution to the Governor. SC said after Goa election that group having more seats than required are invited, we have 117 seats, he said on Tuesday night.

* The BJP has also called a meeting of its newly-elected legislature party on Wednesday.

* Congress bagged a vote share of 38 per cent while the BJP got 36.2 per cent . The JD(S) finished third with a vote share of 18.3 per cent.

a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by Hindustan Times

* Apart from the top three parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party both won one seat each.

* Results were declared for 222 of the 224 assembly seats, with voting in two constituencies countermanded.

ये भी पढ़ें : क्या राहुल गांधी भूल गए हैं JDS को खुद का दिया नाम


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