Karnataka elections 2018 highlights: Congress-JD(S) challenge pro tem Speaker’s appointment

Karnataka elections 2018 LIVE: Earlier today, Governor Vajubhai Vala appointed BJP MLA Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker to the state assembly, drawing sharp reactions from the Congress, who approached the Supreme Court in that matter. Follow LIVE UPDATES here

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 19, 2018 8:05:59 am
Karnataka elections 2018 LIVE: JD(S) chief Kumaraswamy alleges BJP has 'hijacked' two of its MLAs JD(Secular) chief H D Kumaraswamy alleged that BJP has hijacked its two MLAs but expressed confidence that they will be back with them tomorrow. (Express Photo By Anil Sharma/File)

The Supreme Court Friday gave a clear cut, four-step instructions for holding the floor test at 4pm on Saturday to determine whether the day-old BS Yeddyurappa government has the support of the required number of MLAs to continue in government. While the Congress and the JD(S) welcomed the SC order, Yeddyurappa’s counsel had urged the bench to reconsider saying it was too soon. AG KK Venugopal asked the bench if it would consider secret ballots, but the bench rejected the suggestion. READ in Tamil

Yeddyurappa was administered the oath of office by Governor Vajubhai Vala Thursday morning, hours after the Supreme Court heard a plea by post-poll allies Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) challenging Vala’s decision to invite the BJP to form the government.

The bench, comprising Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, also restrained Yedyurappa from taking any major policy decisions till after the floor test. It further restrained the new Karnataka government from nominating any Anglo-Indian member to the House till it proves its majority.

Welcoming the ruling, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “We congratulate the judiciary for saving the democracy and protecting the Constitution of India.”

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The Supreme Court has ordered a floor test in the Karnataka Assembly at 4 pm tomorrow and has asked BJP Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to prove majority. Read highlights here

02:38 (IST) 19 May 2018
Section 144 imposed in Mangalore ahead of floor test

Section 144 has been imposed in Mangalore as a precautionary measure ahead of the SupremeCourt's order directing BJP's BS Yeddyurappa to prove majority in the state assembly.

Meanwhile, newly-elected JD(S) and Congress MLAs from Karnataka, who had been camping here in two hotels to avoid any poaching bids, tonight left for Bengaluru for the crucial floor test in the state assembly tomorrow. JD(S) MLC Basavaraj said in the morning that as many as 36 legislators belonging to his party and 77 of the Congress were camping in the city hotels.

23:48 (IST) 18 May 2018
HD Kumaraswamy along with other JD(S) MLAs on board a Hyderabad-Bengaluru flight ahead of floor test
23:43 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress workers staged protests at various places across the country

The Congress workers staged protests at various places across the country, including the governor's Rajkot residence in Gujarat. Delhi Congress unit chief Ajay Maken led the party's ‘Save Democracy' demonstration at RK Puram here and accused the BJP of trying to "kill democracy" in connivance with Vala by installing a “minority” government in Karnataka by allowing the saffron party's legislature party leader B S Yeddyurappa to take oath as the chief minister.  Congress workers in Uttar Pradesh Friday held demonstrations across the state to protest the 'unconstitutional and undemocratic' manner in which the BJP has formed the government in Karnataka. Top Congress leaders, including state unit chief Raj Babbar gathered as well.  

23:38 (IST) 18 May 2018
BSY restrained from making any major decision till the floor test happens

The Supreme Court witnessed some lighter moments during the over one-hour-long tense, high-voltage hearing on Karnataka's political crisis which made the jam-packed court room burst into peals of laughter. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, told a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri that BJP MLAs from different parts of the state will have to rush to Bengaluru on a short notice for the floor test, evoking laughter from those present in the courtroom as most of the party MLAs were already staying in the city for past couple of days. In another moment Singhvi requested the court to restrain Yeddyurappa from taking any major policy decisions. The court noted in its order and restrained the government from taking any major policy decisions till the floor test tomorrow at 4 pm.

22:09 (IST) 18 May 2018
SC to hear Congress' plea challenging appointment of BJP MLA as pro-tem speaker

The Supreme Court will hear Congress's plea regarding the appointment of pro tem speaker of BJP MLA tomorrow at 10:30am, ANI reports

21:28 (IST) 18 May 2018
JD(S) chief Kumaraswamy exudes confidence of forming govt in Karnataka

JD(Secular) chief H D Kumaraswamy alleged that BJP has hijacked its two MLAs but expressed confidence that they will be back with them tomorrow.  "JD(S) & Congress have jointly given list of 118 MLAs to Governor. We've sufficient strength to form Govt in Karnataka. This morning Supreme Court has given judgement on Governor's decision.  For past 2 days, BJP is trying to buy the MLAs of the opposition," Kumaraswamy was quoted as saying by ANI.

20:41 (IST) 18 May 2018
Former CM Siddaramaiah elected leader of Congress legislature party in meeting

Ex-CM Siddaramaiah was elected leader of the Congress legislature party at the meeting.

20:26 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress-JD (S) moves SC, challenges pro tem Speaker's appointment

The Congress-JD (S) combine today approached the Supreme Court challenging Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision to appoint K G Bopaiah as the pro tem Speaker of the assembly to conduct the crucial floor test tomorrow. PTI quoted sources as saying that the petition was placed before a registrar of the apex court but some defects were pointed out in the plea.

20:24 (IST) 18 May 2018
Mamata hails SC order, says regional parties would decide next move after floor test

Meanwhile, TMC president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee welcomed the Supreme Court verdict ordering a floor test for the B S Yeddyurappa government in the Karnataka Assembly tomorrow and said the regional parties would decide on their next move after it. Banerjee, who has mooted the idea of a Federal Front to take on the Narendra Modi government in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, is keeping in touch with prominent regional leaders over the fast-paced developments in Karnataka.

20:21 (IST) 18 May 2018
Cong move to stake claim to form govt in Goa a stunt: BJP MP

"It (staking claim) is merely a political stunt by the Congress. It appears to be an attempt to keep its flock together," Narendra Sawaikar, the BJPs South Goa Lok Sabha MP, said while addressing a press conference today. Hitting out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, the BJP MP claimed that the party had lost all elections since 2014 and alleged that such "political stunts" (of staking claim to form the government) were being adopted to cover up these failures.

20:11 (IST) 18 May 2018
This purported audio CD is fake, says Prakash Javadekar

"This audio CD is one of the handiworks of Congress' dirty tricks department. This is a fake CD," Prakash Javadekar on the audio, which was released by Congress, in which Janaradhana Reddy is allegedly trying to lure Congress MLA from Raichur Rural by offering him money.

20:01 (IST) 18 May 2018
We have the majority, more than what we expected, claims BS Yeddyurappa

"We are in the Shangri-La hotel for the legislature meeting. We have the majority. More than what we expected. Our workers are really happy," says BS Yeddyurappa, CM of Karnataka.

19:54 (IST) 18 May 2018
If the MLAs from Congress & JD(S) don't support us, how can we prove majority? asks Yeddyurappa

"Of course they are with us, if the MLAs from Congress & JD(S) don't support us, how can we prove majority? We will win the floor test 101%," BS Yeddyurappa, CM of Karnataka.

19:41 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress protest over pro tem speaker 'hoax objection': Javadekar

"When Rameshwar Thakur as Governor had appointed Bopaiah as pro tem speaker of Karnataka in 2008, Congress didn't object. In Jharkhand, when a junior MLA was appointed, Cong leader A M Singhvi defended it in court. Now they are objecting. This is Congress hypocrisy," Prakash Javadekar said.

19:33 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress MLAs leave from Hotel Taj Krishna in Hyderabad

Congress MLAs leave from Hotel Taj Krishna in Hyderabad. They will be travelling to Bengaluru.

19:29 (IST) 18 May 2018
In the audio clip, a man suspected to be Reddy is heard telling Congress MLA he should join BJP

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 that he should join favour the BJP in the floor test and in return he can be made minister.

READ FULL STORY: BJP’s Janardhan Reddy offered bribe to our MLA, claims Congress, releases audio tape

19:09 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress alleges BJP trying to lure MLAs with money

Congress releases audio clip in which Janaradhana Reddy is allegedly trying to lure Congress MLA from Raichur Rural by offering him money,

(Source: ANI)

18:03 (IST) 18 May 2018
UP Congress leaders meet UP Governor Ram Naik protesting over Karnataka govt formation

UP Congress leaders, led by Raj Babbar, meet Governor Ram Naik to hand over a memorandum, protesting against Karnataka Governor inviting BJP to form the government in the state.

18:01 (IST) 18 May 2018
We have 77 MLAs here, it will be our govt: Congress MLA Rajshekar Patil

"All the MLAs are here, we will be leaving for Bengaluru. We don't have any meeting here. Siddaramaiah has come here, we will be leaving soon. We have 77 MLAs here. No pressure on us. It will be our govt," says Rajshekar Patil, Congress MLA in Hyderabad

17:56 (IST) 18 May 2018
"We will be able to inform you in a short while," said Congress on whether party will challenge Bopaiah's appointment as pro tem Speaker

"We will be able to inform you in a short while. Yes, the option of going back to Court is open: Randeep Surjewala, Congress on if Congress will challenge BJP MLA KG Bopaiah's appointment as pro tem Speaker.

17:36 (IST) 18 May 2018
Governor has once again launched an encounter on Constitution by appointing KG Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker, says Congress

"Governor Vajubhai Vala has once again launched an encounter on the Constitution by appointing KG Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker instead of the senior most MLA," says Randeep Surjewala, Congress.

16:56 (IST) 18 May 2018
Earlier today, SC gave clear-cut four-step instructions for holding the floor test in the assembly tomorrow

Earlier today, the Supreme Court gave clear-cut four-step instructions for holding the floor test in the Karnataka assembly tomorrow for ascertaining the majority or otherwise of the B S Yedyurappa's government in the state. In its order, the apex court enumerated the four steps that have to be followed for holding the floor test, directing the immediate appointment of the Pro- tem Speaker, holding the oath ceremony for all elected members tomorrow. This exercise has to be completed before 4 PM when the floor test will be held to ascertain the majority.

16:41 (IST) 18 May 2018
Former CM Siddaramaiah arrived at the Begumpet airport today evening, to hold CLP meeting at 5 pm

Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah arrived at the Begumpet airport in a chartered flight today evening. He will be holding the CLP meeeting at 5 pm at Taj Krishna. Siddaramiah arrived with other senior Congress leaders, including Digvijay Singh.

16:30 (IST) 18 May 2018
KG Bopaiah's appointment is as per rules, says Javadekar
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16:14 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress may challenge appointment of K G Bopaiah as pro- tem speaker in Karnataka, says Singhvi

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi says party may challenge appointment of K G Bopaiah as pro- tem speaker in Karnataka

16:12 (IST) 18 May 2018
KG Bopaiah the pro tem Speaker chosen by Governor Vajubhai Vala is a four-time MLA

The name of Bopaiah was chosen by the Governor from a list of names of senior MLAs in the new house given by the office of the secretary to the state legislative assembly. The senior most MLA is normally by convention chosen as the pro tem Speaker. The senior most MLA in the new state assembly is R V Deshpande of the Congress who has been elected eight times. K G Bopaiah the pro tem Speaker chosen by Governor Vajubhai Vala is a four-time MLA. He was earlier the pro tem Speaker in 2008 in his second term as an MLA.

16:11 (IST) 18 May 2018
Bopaiah's appointment has come even as the Congress and JDS coalition were seeking appointment of RV Deshpande as the interim speaker

Karnataka Governor appoints senior BJP leader and MLA K G Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker to conduct the floor test of the newly elected B S Yeddyurappa led BJP government. Bopaiah's appointment has come even as the Congress and JDS coalition were seeking appointment of RV Deshpande as the interim speaker on account of his seniority in the assembly. Bopaiah was the pro tem Speaker in 2008 when a trust vote was held to test the numbers of the Yeddyurappa-led BJP government which fell three short of the 113 magic number in the 224-member house and had to rely on five Independents to nudge it to a majority. In the current house, the BJP is eight short of a majority of 112 while the Congress-JDS coalition claim to have the support of 115 members.

15:53 (IST) 18 May 2018
"The victory is ours, we only have to wait for 24 hours," says Singhvi

"The victory is ours. BJP is confident of their defeat. We only have to wait for 24 hours," said Singhvi.

15:50 (IST) 18 May 2018
BJP seems to have already conceded defeat and are speaking under pressure, says Singhvi

"BJP seems to have already conceded defeat and are speaking under pressure. The pro-tem speaker by convention is usually the senior most MLA. We are only asking for the convention to be followed," claims Abhishek Manu Singhvi

15:49 (IST) 18 May 2018
JUST IN: BJP MLA K G Bopaiah appointed pro tem Speaker

BJP MLA K G Bopaiah appointed pro tem Speaker by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala

15:46 (IST) 18 May 2018
Yeddyurappa should not have claimed majority, they cannot muster numbers in a day, says Singhvi

"BS Yeddyurappa should not have claimed majority. They are aware that they cannot turn 104 to majority. They cannot muster numbers in a day," says Singhvi.

15:45 (IST) 18 May 2018
"BJP wanted that vote of confidence should be done via secret ballot," says Singhvi

"BJP wanted that vote of confidence should be done via secret ballot. But, Supreme Court has written in its order that there shall be no secret ballot in proving vote of confidence tomorrow," says Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Congress. 

15:39 (IST) 18 May 2018
Laud SC for saving democracy, says Abhishek Manu Singhvi

BJP is trying to form government more by crook and less by hook, says Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi

15:37 (IST) 18 May 2018
BJP getting desperate, some of our MLAs being contacted incessantly: Dinesh Gundu Rao
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15:31 (IST) 18 May 2018
Congress workers protest outside Karnataka Governor's Rajkot residence, 30 detained by police

A group of Congress workers today assembled outside the home of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala here and shouted slogans against him following which 30 of them were detained, the police said. They were protesting against Vala's decision to invite the BJP to form the government in Karnataka despite the saffron party's numbers being less than the combined tally of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) in the state Assembly.

15:17 (IST) 18 May 2018
Yeddyurappa should not continue this charade anymore: Kanimozhi

DMK leader Kanimozhi accused the BJP for "trying to indulge in horse trading". On Twitter, she said, "It is obvious that the BJP does not have the numbers to prove majority. Yediyurappa Should not continue this charade anymore or try to indulge in horse trading and resign immediately."

14:49 (IST) 18 May 2018
Same Congress had moved an impeachment motion: Patra

While continuing his attack on Congress and party chief Rahul Gandhi, Patra said, "Rahul Gandhi had shamelessly compared the Supreme Court to Pakistan the other day. The same Congress had moved an impeachment motion too. And now it has decided to restore its faith in the top court."

14:44 (IST) 18 May 2018
14:43 (IST) 18 May 2018

"Congress's selective approach won't work. The Constitution cannot be altered to the whims of the Gandhis," he added.

14:41 (IST) 18 May 2018
BJP's Sambit Patra addresses the media in Delhi

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, while addressing the media in the national capital, said, "Congress has murdered the mandate in Karnataka. We hope that the party continues to give the same respect to the top court it gave today."

B S Yeddyurappa took oath as Karnataka CM on Thursday. (Express photo/Johnson Abraham) B S Yeddyurappa took oath as Karnataka CM on Thursday. (Express photo/Johnson Abraham)

On Wednesday, the Congress and JD(S) had staked claim before the Governor to form the government in Karnataka with their combined 116 seats, shortly after the BJP approached the Governor with its claim to form the government with 104 seats in the currently 222-member Assembly. This was before the governor invited the BJP, the single largest party with 104 seats but short of the 112-seat majority, to form the government.

Read | Karnataka elections 2018: How it unfolded, from midnight at CJI home to 4:30 am in SC

The Congress-JD(S) alliance asked the Governor to call them to form the government following a Supreme Court order of March 2017 in the case of the formation of a government in Goa where two parties were invited instead of the single largest party.

The Governor, however, gave the BJP 15 days to prove its majority in the hung Assembly where the Congress has 78 members, the Janata Dal (Secular) 37 members and there are three others, including a BSP member, allied with the JDS.

Read | Karnataka elections: Ahead of floor test, one MLA missing, all eyes on the rest

Late night, the Congress filed a petition before the Supreme Court Registrar challenging the Governor’s decision and seeking an urgent hearing by the Chief Justice of India. The top court, however, decided not to stop Yeddyurappa from being sworn-in as the chief minister of Karnataka but said his swearing-in would be subject to the outcome of the writ petition.