‘Save Democracy Day’ LIVE: Cong district leaders to meet state Governors, party seeks President Kovind’s appointment

'Save Democracy Day' LIVE UPDATES: Congress has decided that all its state presidents and senior leaders will lead a delegation to the Governors in their state and hand over memorandums urging the President of India to safeguard democratic principles and sanctity of constitution. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 18, 2018 10:27:43 pm
'Save Democracy Day' LIVE, congress, vajubhai vala, karnataka election results JD(S) Supremo H D Deve Gowda, Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad, former CM Siddaramaiah, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy with JD(S) and Congress party supporters and MLAs stage dharna in front of Gandhi Statue near Vidhan Soudha.

Protesting against Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s “collusion with the BJP”, by inviting BS Yeddyurappa to take the oath of office despite falling short of the required mandate, the Congress party is observing a ‘Save Democracy Day’ across the country. The party will hold protests across state capitals and district headquarters.

Accusing the Governor of “undermining the dignity of his office” the Congress said, “The dangerous precedent strikes at the very heart of India’s democracy and portends grave consequences for all forthcoming election.”  The party has decided that all the PCC presidents and senior leaders will lead a delegation to the Governors in their state and hand over memorandums urging the President of India to safeguard democratic principles and sanctity of constitution.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered that a floor test be conducted at 4pm, Saturday to determine whether the day-old BS Yeddyurappa government has the support of the required number of MLAs to continue in government.  You can follow that on our LIVE blog here

Live Blog

Congress observes 'Save Democracy Day' across India, catch all the LIVE developments from across the country here

21:02 (IST) 18 May 2018
Ex-CM Siddaramaiah was elected leader of the Congress legislature party at the meeting

20:57 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress MLAs at party legislature meeting at Taj Krishna in Hyderabad

20:04 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress had earlier accused the BJP of horse-trading after it was invited by the governor to form the government

The Congress had earlier accused the BJP of indulging in horse-trading after it was invited by the governor to form the government, despite not having numbers. In the Karnataka elections, BJP emerged as the single largest party winning 104 seats but fell short of halfway mark. The Congress and JD(S) combine together have 115 seats.

19:55 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress claims BJP's Janardhan Reddy offered bribe to one of their MLAs

The Congress on Friday came up with an audio recording in which of one of its MLAs was being allegedly bribed by saffron party leader Janardhan Reddy to vote in its favour. The development comes even as the BJP prepares to take the floor test in Karnataka assembly tomorrow. The Congress played the audio clip at a press conference on Friday evening. In the audio, a man suspected to be Reddy is heard telling Congress MLA from Raichur Rural Basanagouda that he should favour the BJP in the floor test and in return he can be made a minister.

15:34 (IST) 18 May 2018
BJP wanted vote of confidence via secret ballot: Singhvi

Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, while addressing a press conference said that BJP wanted vote of confidence via a secret ballot. "But, Supreme Court has written in its order that there shall be no secret ballot in proving vote of confidence tomorrow," he said.

15:13 (IST) 18 May 2018
Tejashwi Yadav meets Bihar Governor, stakes claim to form government

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Friday met Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik and staked claim to form government in the state. He was accompanied by the Congress, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and CPI(ML) leaders.

15:10 (IST) 18 May 2018
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav posts 'letter of support' to RJD from Congress and other parties on Twitter, before meeting Bihar Governor
15:02 (IST) 18 May 2018
We don't have MLAs in our party or alliance who will take u-turn like Nitish Kumar: Tejashwi Yadav

RJD claims if the party is given a chance it can easily clear the floor test. "We have a total of 111 MLAs and some unhappy JD(U) MLAs are in contact with us. We don't have MLAs in our party or alliance who will take u-turn like Nitish Kumar," Tejashwi Yadav told ANI.

13:34 (IST) 18 May 2018
Goa Congress hands over memorrandum to Guv Mridula Sinha, stake claim of govt
13:26 (IST) 18 May 2018
RJD claims govt in Bihar, confident of proving majority

We are going to prove our majority to the Governor. We stake claim to form the government. We have the support of many parties & MLAs of those parties are with us. Let's see what happens: Tejashwi Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal

13:25 (IST) 18 May 2018
Goa Congress MLAs stake claim of Govt
13:10 (IST) 18 May 2018
Goa Congress MLAs reach Raj Bhawan to stake claim to form govt
12:48 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress workers hold protests in Pune against BJP

There has been series of protests across the country by district congress committees over the decision of Governor Vajubhai Vala calling BJP to stake claim despite falling short of required numbers in the Karnataka assembly. ( Express photo by Arul Horizon)

12:44 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress workers protesting in Karnataka
12:29 (IST) 18 May 2018
Rahul Gandhi hails SC order

The BJP’s bluff that it will form the Govt., even without the numbers, has been called out by the court. Stopped legally, they will now try money & muscle, to steal the mandate: Rahul Gandhi

Protest organized by @INCPuducherry against the violation of the Constitutional principles in Karnataka. #SaveDemocracyDay pic.twitter.com/LEW6EA0aai

— Congress (@INCIndia) May 18, 2018

12:23 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress seeks President's appointment

The Congress has sought an appointment with President Ram Nath Kovind on behalf of like-minded opposition parties to appraise him about the Karnataka Governor inviting the BJP to form the government in the state even though there was a split verdict in the Assembly election. A Congress source said though the party has sought an appointment with Kovind tomorrow, they are likely to meet him next week in the view of the floor test be held in Karnataka Assembly tomorrow, as ordered by the Supreme Court, to ascertain whether newly appointed BJP Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa enjoys majority in the state. (PTI)

12:19 (IST) 18 May 2018
Imperative that we do not aide the BJP: Cong

The democracy is under a vicious attack today by the RSS and its hydra-headed affiliates, while the BJP Govt is the facilitator. It is imperative that we do not aide the BJP by maintaining silence: Congress. 

12:18 (IST) 18 May 2018
West Bengal Congress workers hold protest

(Source: Twitter/INCIndia)

12:04 (IST) 18 May 2018
Goa Congress MLAs reach Raj Bhawan
12:02 (IST) 18 May 2018
Gujarat congress burn effigy during protest

Gujarat Congress leaders staged a protest at Lal Darwaja area of the city to protest against the decision of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, inviting the BJP to form the state government.  (Express Photo by Javed Raja)

11:41 (IST) 18 May 2018
SC fixes floor test for tomorrow at 4 PM

A bench of Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan held a hearing and examined the letters dated May 15 and 16, written by Yeddyurappa to Governor Vala, staking claim to form the government. The SC bench has proposed a floor test to be held on Saturday.

11:37 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress observing Save Democracy Day

We stand united to protest against the murder of democracy and the violation of Constitutional principles by the BJP in Karnakata.

11:09 (IST) 18 May 2018
Goa Congress to meet Governor at noon

Appointment with Goa Governor at noon. We are going to tell her that since her counterpart in Karnataka has called the single largest party, she should also call us now. We are the single largest party, will prove majority on the floor of the House: Yatish Naik, Goa Congress spokesperson

10:21 (IST) 18 May 2018
'Their claim of a mandate is a sham'

Their claim of a mandate is a sham. They neither had the majority nor the largest share of the popular vote. The formation of a BJP government by deceit, money and brazen abuse of power exposes the naked opportunism and hunger for power and their double standards: Anand Sharma 

10:19 (IST) 18 May 2018
Rajasthan Congress hopeful of mandate in upcoming assembly elections
10:18 (IST) 18 May 2018
Jyotiraditya Scindia urge the nation to stand up in a united voice
10:17 (IST) 18 May 2018
RJD urges opposition parties to unite to 'Save Democracy'
10:14 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress slams Governor Vajubhai Vala

Congress has been targeting the Governor of Karnataka, in a statement, the party said, "Decision of Karnataka Governor's to invite Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as CM is the murder of democracy, violation of the constitution, negation of the law and subjugation of every known principle as also judgement of Supreme Court."

09:59 (IST) 18 May 2018
Cong delegation seeks appointment with Prez

Congress leaders are likely to meet President Ram Nath Kovind during the day, reports suggest the party is seeking an appointment with the President. 

09:52 (IST) 18 May 2018
"Murder of democratic values"
09:51 (IST) 18 May 2018
The question of discretion

The principle of the Governor’s “discretion” has been invoked to defend Vajubhai Vala’s decision to invite B S Yeddyurappa, leader of the BJP legislature party, to form the government in Karnataka. By not staying the swearing-in on Thursday, the Supreme Court has tacitly acknowledged this discretion. What exactly does discretion mean in legal-constitutional situations such as this? READ MORE HERE

09:48 (IST) 18 May 2018
'While BJP celebrates its hollow victory, India will mourn the defeat of democracy'
09:47 (IST) 18 May 2018
Welcome to The Indian Express LIVE Blog

Hello, welcome to our Live Blog as we track the fallout of the Karnataka election results and the Congress protests across the nation. Track all developments here LIVE. 

Congress leaders protesting in Bengaluru.

In the wake of the Supreme Court giving it an urgent midnight hearing on the Karnataka government formation, earlier on Thursday the Congress launched a coordinated move with other Opposition parties to win a symbolic battle of perception against the BJP. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi both spoke to H D Deve Gowda, and are reported to have been in touch with several Opposition leaders, even as demands to give single largest parties a chance to form governments were made in states such as Bihar, Goa and Manipur.