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Karnataka developments Live | Supreme Court indicates it will not restrain Yeddyurappa's swearing-in

  • Karnataka 2018
Karnataka developments Live | Supreme Court indicates it will not restrain Yeddyurappa's swearing-in The Hindu Net Desk May 16, 2018 12:00 IST Updated: May 17, 2018 05:26 IST Former Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi arrives at the Supreme Court early on May 17, 2018.

Former Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi arrives at the Supreme Court early on May 17, 2018. | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The Hindu Net Desk May 16, 2018 12:00 IST Updated: May 17, 2018 05:26 IST more-in

Swearing-in can be deferred as it’s no t restraining Governor, says Congress-JD(S) counsel Abhishek Singhvi.

Amid intense jockeying for power and allegations of horse-trading, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on May 16 invited the BJP’s B.S. Yeddyurappa to form the government in the State, prompting the Congress to move the Supreme Court. The court has indicated that it will not restrain the swearing-in, but will make it subject to the outcome of the case.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress combine and the BJP submitted the list of MLAs supporting them. The JD(S) and the BJP have also completed the process of electing the leaders of their respective Legislature Parties. The day also saw the JD(S) accusing the BJP of indulging in horse-trading, which the latter dismissed as imagination.

Karnataka returned a hung Assembly on May 15 with the BJP winning in 104 seats, Congress 78 and the JD(S) 37, from the 222 constituencies that went to the polls. In a dramatic turn of events, t he Congress offered support to the JD(S), which was duly accepted by party leader H.D. Kumaraswamy.

Here are the live updates:

'Cannot injunct Governor'

"It stands to reason that we cannot injunct a party [the Governor] we cannot summon here," says Justice Bobde. "You cannot injunct a party you cannot issue notice to. Injunction is always against a person. You can but stay his order."

"If a Governor dared to make a one-man party CM, we cannot injunct the CM from taking oath. But we can stay his government from functioning," says Justice Bobde

The Goa parallel

"In Goa, Digambar Kamat of Congress never made a claim. Manohar Parrikar of BJP made his claim and was invited to form the government," says Mr. Rohatgi.

Mr. Rohatgi again questions the urgency of the hearing. "In Yakub Memon, I argued from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m because the man was going to be hanged at 6 a.m. Here what is the urge ncy? The question of 15 days for the floor test can be decided in the next 2 or 3 days."

To this Anoop Chaudhary responds, "Here Constitution is going to be hanged."

Singhvi presses on

Before the Bench was to dictate the order, Mr. Singhvi sought to argue the matter further.

Balance of convenience and majesty of law supports postponement of swearing in, says Mr. Singhvi. "What if Yeddyurappa's letter shows he has no majority? My Lords can have the swearing-in in the evening."

To this Mr. Rohatgi says allow the swearing in and then 'unscramble the egg'.

No restraint on swearing-in

Indicating the order of the three-judge Supreme court Bench, Justice Sikri says it will not restrain the swearing in of B.S. Yeddyurappa, but will make it subject to the outcome of the case before it. It will issue notice to the BJP and give them one or two days to respond.

4.10 a.m.

Rohatgi wants "misconceived plea" dismissed

Mr. Rohatgi begins argument. While submitting that the Court can reduce time period from 15 to 10 or 7 days for the BJP to prove majority, he asks the Bench to dismiss the petition right away as it’s misconceived.

"The attempt is to injunct the Governor from inviting and administering oath. They are asking this court to restrain the Governor from doing his constitutional duties. You will end up injuncting Article 361 (1)," he says.

"Congress, JD(S) wants to stultify a democratic process. By injuncting the Governor they are trying to efface the Governor," he adds.

Justice Bodbe notes, "It is like a Bill is passed by both Houses and a petition is filed here to injunct the President from signing it."

3.50 a.m.

Question of numbers

Our Legal Correspondent reports:

Justice Sikri asks AG: “117 members have signed on the Congress-JD(S) side. In that case, how can th e BJP claim 113 (the simple majority) then?

To this Mr. Rohatgi comes back to his objection to the hearing itself. “Whether floor test should be conducted in 10 or 15 days can be decided tomorrow and not at 4 a.m. in the morning,” he says.

And in the courtroom everyone discovers that Mr. Yeddyurappa, who is respondent 3, is not represented.

PTI adds:

The Bench observes: “It is preposterous to argue before MLAs take oath they are not amenable to anti-defection law and it means open invitation to horse-trading.”

To this the AG says the swearing-in subject to outcome of floor test and the Court can hear the matter after that.

3.46 a.m.

'Everything is reversible'

Mr. Venugopal tells the Bench nothing here is irreversible. “Everything is reversible. What is the great loss by waiting for 15 days,”he asks.

Justice Bobde counters saying, “That is the other point. Why wait for 15 days?”

To this the AG says it was the Governor’s decision, adding that it’s an area of darkness how Mr. Yeddyurappa is claiming to form the government. “But let the swearing-in go on. This is a purely reversible situation.”

3.40 a.m.

Rohatgi questions midnight hearing

Our Legal Correspondent reports:

During his intervention AG Mr. Venugopal says “Everything here is in the realm of speculation. Whole thing is a grey area.”

Mr. Rohatgi asks the Bench “What is the urgency of the matter to hear it at midnight? Will heavens fall if a person is sworn in in the morning”

To this, Justice Sikri tells him to submit before the Bench how his side is claiming a majority in numbers.

3.26 a.m.

Wind up arguments, Bench tells Singhvi

PTI reports:

The Bench asks Mr. Singhvi to wind up his arguments as he has already argued for more than an hour. Mr. Singhvi seeks a few more minut es.

Our Legal Correspondent reports:

“It’s apex of democracy if the Supreme Court can open up at 2 a.m. to provide justice,” Mr. Singhvi says while concluding his arguments.

3.15 a.m.

Can the Governor’s decision be stayed?

Our Legal Correspondent reports:

Mr. Singhvi counters the Bench’s query saying, “If President’s rule under Article 356 can be stayed by a court, why not this (decision) in which a Governor has exercised his discretion without the aid and advice of the Cabinet?”

Mr. Singhvi adds that the Governor is not personally liable, but his exercise of gubernatorial duties are judicially reviewable.

He asks the Bench to defer the swearing-in. “It is not like restraining the Governor, who only acted in pursuance of the BJP letter. Act of swearing-in is less than they make it out to be,” he submits.

PTI reports:

Mr. Singhvi s ays under Constitution immunity is given to Governor only for discharge of duties.

3 a.m.

Question of Governor’s discretion

Our Legal Correspondent reports:

The argument now moves to the Court's power to review a Governor's decision. Mr. Singhvi says the Court can judicially review Governor's discretion. To this, Justice Bobde responds saying the BJP MLAs’ counsel’s problem is not judicial review but that the Court cannot pass an injunction on the Governor’s order.

Justice Sikri intervenes: “How can we interfere in this matter when you do not have even the letter you claim they wrote to the Governor?”

PTI adds:

“We are wondering whether SC can restrain Governor that might lead to constitutional vacuum in State,” the Bench observes. “General trend of past SC judgement is not to issue injunction to Governor or to restrain Governor.”

2.50 a.m.

Ou r Legal Correspondent reports:

The Bommai and the Rameshwar Prasad verdicts were based on different issues, but had commonly approved the Sarkaria Commission, argues JD(S)-Congress counsel Mr. Singhvi.

“Karnataka is the case of Goa in reverse,” he says.

PTI adds: “Who is in charge today in Karnataka,” Bench asks. “A caretaker government,” responds Mr. Singhvi.

2.40 a.m.

Our Correspondent reports:

Mr. Singhvi argues that the BJP cannot form government as I (JD(S) and Congress) have the support of other parties. “EC certificate shows 104 MLAs for BJP, unless someone from Congress has defected that is impermissible and prohibited.”

He adds that it was impossible for BJP to move ahead from 104... when Justice Bobde intervenes saying: “You are talking about static loyalties. To this Mr. Singhvi responds: “Dynamic and moving loyalties also apply in this case.”

Justice Bobde asks: “Should the Court even consider restraining the Governor?”

Singhvi says: “What was the hurry for the Governor to swear in Yeddyurappa? They want to put this Court in a quandry. They want to give the impression that Court cannot injunct before swearing-in. And it is fait accompli after swearing-in.”

2.30 a.m.

Our Correspondent reports â€" Mr. Singhvi argues: “There is only one way a party which got 104 will get 113... I heard he asked for 7 days, but Governor gave 15 days. Elementary common sense and arithmetic against this kind of giving of time.”

Mr. Singhvi adds: “In Jharkhand in 2005, Goa in 2017 and in the Jagadambika Pal case in U.P., the Court advanced the date of floor test from seven days to 48 hours.”

PTI adds: “It is biggest license to poaching if Governor gives 15 days to BJP to prove majority; in earlier such cases 48 hours given,” he argues.

2.25 a.m.

Our Correspondent reports: Mr. Singhvi argues citing innumerable occasions when post-poll alliances have been called despite single largest party. “One of them is when Congress was single largest in Goa,” he says and quotes Chandrakant Kavlekar order of April 2017. He goes on to quote the Bommai and Rameshwar Prasad verdicts. Mr. Singhvi then reads from the Rameshwar Prasad verdict: “Discretion of Governor in dissolution of existing govt. Same discretion will apply to inviting new Chief Minister.”

PTI quotes Mr. as Singhvi telling the Bench: “The BJP has only 104 MLAs, the Governor invited Mr. Yeddyurappa to form government in an unconstitutional manner“. Mr. Kumaraswamy with Congress has 116 MLAs, he adds.

2.15 a.m.

The arguments

Singhvi begins: “Today Congress meets...” Justice Bobde reminds: “Yesterday, Mr. Singhvi, yesterday. We are in today.”

Additional Solicitor-General Ma ninder Singh joins hearing.

Singhvi says, “Governor sent his letter at 9 p.m. yesterday for Yeddyurappa to swear in today.”

K.K. Venugopal, Attorney-General arrives at the Court.

Singhvi says, “Rule is clear absolute majority,” and delves into Sarkaria Commission's order of preferences on pre-poll alliances, single largest party, post-poll alliance and coalition.

1.45 a.m.

Supreme Court begins hearing second midnight hearing in its history

Hearing begins. Mr. Rohatgi has a preliminary objection. No injunction can be issued against Karnataka Governor and Governor cannot be party, he says. Mr. Rohatgi says he is representing some of the BJP MLAs and not Mr. Yeddyurappa, reports our correspondent from the court hall.

Full house at the pre-dawn hearing in Supreme Court’s Court No. 6. Mukul Rohatgi for the BJP and ASG Tushar Mehta for the Centre are present at the Court. Abhishek Manu Singhvi is in the front row. Waiting for the judges A.K. Sikri, S.A. Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, reports our Legal Correspondent Krishnadas Rajagopal.

The previous midnight hearing

The last time the Supreme Court held a midnight hearing was in 2015, in the Yakub Memon case.

At 3.17 a.m. on June 30, 2015, the day of his execution, Yakub Memon woke up the Supreme Court to hear him for one last time in an unprecedented early morning hearing in the highest court's long history.

The lone death row convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case told a quickly assembled Bench that he accepts himself as a condemned man, but only wanted to live for another 14 days so that he "could make his peace with God and settle his earthly affairs before leaving this world."

Supreme Court to hold midnight hearing

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear at 1.45 a.m. the petition filed by the Congress-JD(S) challenging the Karnataka Governor’s decision to invite the BJP to form the government in Karnataka.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has constituted a Bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri, S.A. Bobde and Ashok Bhushan to hear the matter in court number six.

The petition has sought a stay on the oath-taking ceremony, as communicated by the Governor to Mr. Yeddyurappa.

In a midnight legal push, the Congress had approached the Supreme Court seeking an immediate intervention by the chief justice to stay the move, which it termed as an “encounter of the Constitution“.

The Congress urged Justice Misra to hold an urgent hearing in the night itself since Mr. Yeddyurappa is slated to take oath as Chief Minister at 9 a.m.

Mr. Singhvi said the party sought hearing on its petition challenging the Governor’s decision tonight itself.

The Congress termed the Governor’s decision as “murder of democracy and trampling of Constitution“.

And the government is expected to be represe nted by ASG Tushar Mehta.

The Secretary-General of the Supreme Court along with other senior registrars have reached the residence of the Chief Justice apparently to inform him about the Congress- JD(S) petition seeking an urgent hearing on the issue.

Security has been beefed up tonight and a strong posse of policemen deployed on the way leading to the 5, Krishna Menon Marg residence of CJI Dipak Misra.

Scene outside the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra's residence in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Scene outside the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra's residence in New Delhi on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

As a midnight political drama was played out, traffic was diverted and barricades were placed at various places on the Krishna Menon Marg, even a s journalists rushed to the CJI’s residence in anticipation that advocates for the Congress party will mention the petition for urgent hearing in the case tonight itself.

One of the policemen said they were only informed that some VIP movements are likely to take place and therefore, security arrangements have been made. Security was also stepped up around the Supreme Court premises where the lawyers for the Congress met the registrar.

Only one gate, i.e. Gate No E, was opened for the lawyers and court staff. The journalists were kept out.

A large number of policemen and PCR vans were seen stationed there.

Singhvi to lead Congress-JD(S) challenge

Abhishek Manu Singhvi is leading the Congress-JD(S) challenge against the Karnataka Governor’s decision. He tweets: “Since swearing in now announced for 9 am on 17/5/18, in a 9 pm invite by Governor today to (Mr. Yeddyurappa) to form Govt, urgency to seek listing in Supreme Court tonight is self-valida ting. If Supreme Court registry accepts petitioners’ request on basis of petition settled by me and filed tonight, I will appear and argue tonight.”

Kumaraswamy slams Governor’s decision

Mr. Kumaraswamy has slammed the Governor’s decision and accused the Narendra Modi government of misusing Constitutional institutions. “We will not let it go easily...”, a furious Mr. Kumaraswamy told reporters shortly after the Governor wrote to Mr. Yeddyurappa.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said the Governor should have given three or four days time for Mr. Yeddyurappa to prove his majority. “He (Mr. Yeddyurappa) has no majority,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said.

“It will be a repeat of 2008...they will loot the State,” he said, referring to the then BJP rule. Asked about the next step, he said, “Wait and see.”

Congress moves Supreme Court

Congress approached Supreme Court registrar late on Wednesday evening seeking urgent relief, say sources. Senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi will move a petition on Thursday morning.

Congress has urged Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to hold an urgent hearing tonight itself.

Congress reacts

Black letter day for the Constitution, says Congress reacting to the development. “By trashing the Constitution and murdering democracy, tomorrow an illegitimate government will take oath, says partry spokesman Randeep Surjewala.

“Letter of Governor clearly shows that even he doesn't believe that BJP has the numbers.”

BJP justifies Karnataka Governor's move

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Governor had the leeway to exercise his discretion as per the bounds of the Constitution. "Both Sarkaria and M M Punchi commission were clear on the order in which parties were to be invited to form the government", Mr. Prasad said.

"Number one, the biggest pre-poll alliance, secondly the single largest party staking a claim, thi rdly a post poll alliance,” the Law Minister said.

“Congress is raising a protest because they haven’t been able to digest the loss in Karnataka”, Mr. Prasad said.

“Congress CM fought from two seats, he lost one seat, barely managed to win the other, and was projected as a dynamic CM who brought in the golden age in Karnataka. Sixteen of his Ministers also lost. What is the signal about the mandate here?

“I ask Rahul and Sonia Gandhi who harp on their legacy, in 1989 the Congress had the largest number of seats but his father Rajiv Gandhi declared that the mandate was against him and was for V.P. Singh and others. Is Rahul Gandhi unaware of the democratic tradition within his own family?”

Governor invites Yeddyurappa

BJP leader Muralidhar Rao says that the Governor has invited Mr. Yeddyurappa to form the government. He will take oath at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Just now, Governor’s office has given us the letter, inviting Mr. Yeddyurappa to t ake oath and form the government. I welcome the invitation."

Mr. Rao says: “BJP has always followed core democratic principles. There is well laid out procedure... when clear majority is not there... in such a situation, when there is no pre-poll alliance, according to the Constitution and Supreme Court observation in S.R. Bommai case, the single largest party should be called and be given an opportunity to form government.”

“BJP is the single largest party. Of 222 seats, BJP has won 104 seats. The other two parties had fought against each other. They fought bitterly. Criticised each other. Personalised attacks were also other. All are in public domain. The result is complete rejection of Siddaramaiah government,” says Mr. Rao. "We will prove majority on the floor of the house. While giving the invitation, the Governor has said floor test should be held within 15 days.”

Karnataka    Governor Vajubhai Vala’s invitation to BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa to form government.

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s invitation to BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa to form government.

Karnataka BJP says Yeddyurappa will take oath at 9 a.m. tomorrow

@BJP4Karnataka the official twitter handle of the Karnataka unit of the BJP has tweeted this: “The moment that crores of Kannadigas are awaiting is here. Sri BSYBJP will take oath as Chief Minister of Karnataka tomorrow morning at 9.00 AM at Raj Bhavan. The movement to build our Suvarna Karnataka has started.”

Karnataka developments Live | Supreme Court indicates it will not restrain Yeddyurappa's swearing-in

BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai says the party has received the invitation. Mr. Yeddyurappa will take oath at 9 a.m. Governor has given 15 days to prove majority, he adds.

BJP, Congress to hold press conferences

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will hold a press conference at 9.30 p.m. on Karnataka developments. The Congress has scheduled another press conference at 10 p.m.

Karnataka BJP spokesman deletes tweet

BJP spokesperson and Rajajinagar MLA S. Suresh Kumar has now deleted his tweet announcing the swearing in of Yeddyurappa tomorrow.

Congress keeps options open

Congress leaders P. Chidamabaram, Kapil Sibal, Vivek Tankha and Randeep Surjewala are giving a press conference on the Karnataka developments.

“As we are doing this press conference, we heard the Governor may have invited Yeddyuruppa, but none has been able to confirm it. We are proceeding on the basis that the Governor has not acted,” Mr. Chidambaram says.

“What has stopped the Governor from inviting H.D. Kumaraswamy, leader of the alliance that commands the majority of the Assembly?

“The only way to uphold the Constitution is to invite the Congress-JD(S) alliance,” he says.

Mr. Sibal says “Man ki Baat” has now become “Dhan Ki baat”.

Asked about moving court or approaching the President, Mr. Sibal says, “We have the options open, and will decide which one to take.”

Mr. Chidamabaram says there are many options between now and tomorrow morning but can’t comment on which option to take without confirmation from the Raj Bhavan. “If the Governor does not invite Kumaraswamy, then he is encouraging horse-trading.”

Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala says Congress and JD(S) are ready to parade all their 117 MLAs.

Mr. Chidamabaram says, “We still hope that the Governor will follow the only path available to him, the Constitutional path.”

Karnataka BJP spokesma n announces Yeddyurappa swearing in

Mr. Yeddyurappa will be sworn in as Chief Minister at 9.30 a.m. on May 17, BJP spokesperson and Rajajinagar MLA S. Suresh Kumar tweets in Kannada.

“Let us take part in this momentous ceremony in large numbers,” Mr. Kumar added in the tweet.

BJP men approached me, claims BSP MLA Mahesh

The lone Bahujan Samaj Party MLA N. Mahesh, who has been elected from Kollegal constituency in Chamarajanagar district, has claimed that some BJP office-bearers got in touch with him seeking support to form government. "However, I asked them to get in touch with our national leader Mayawati. I am firmly with JD(S)," he said. The BSP went to polls in alliance with the JD(S). It contested in 20 seats and won in one.

Congress, JD(S) MLAs meet Governor

Members of the Congress and JD(S) met the Governor of Karnataka at around 5 p.m. on Wednesday. KPCC President G. Parameshwara, who met the Governor along with J D(S) chief H. D. Kumaraswamy, said letters with signature of 117 MLAs were submitted to the Governor.

JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy waits outside the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala on May 16, 2018.

JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy waits outside the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala on May 16, 2018. | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

"The Governor has promised that he will get back to us after seeking legal opinion on the matter," he said.

When asked if all the MLAs are with the parties both Mr. Kumaraswamy and Mr. Parameshwara said, "they were intact."

PTI adds:

Mr. Kumaraswamy said the Governor told the delegation that after consulting legal experts on the Supreme Court judgmen ts, he would “come to a decision and inform us about it.” Next step has to be decided by the Governor, he added.

“Governor said he will decide about considering our claim in accordance with the Constitution. I hope that he will abide by the Constitution and give his direction,” he said.

Mr. Parameshwara said a copy of the resolution passed at the Congress Legislature Party was submitted to the Governor.

The Governor said he would act in accordance with the law, based on apex court judgments and as per the constitution while also looking at precedents followed earlier in states like Goa, Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur, he said.

‘Governor's decision after gazette notification’

Election Commission sources say that the gazette notification on the conclusion of poll process is likely to be submitted to the Governor's office in a couple of hours. The Governor is expected to take a call on inviting which group to form government after r eceiving the notification.

JD(S) and congress MLAs stand outside the Raj Bhavan as their leaders were meeting the Governor in Bengaluru on May 16, 2018.

JD(S) and congress MLAs stand outside the Raj Bhavan as their leaders were meeting the Governor in Bengaluru on May 16, 2018. | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Governor’s office being misused: CPI (M)

In a statement, the Left party alleged that the constitutional office of the Governor was being misused in the southern state.

“The politburo of the CPI(M) strongly opposes the time given to the BJP to indulge in naked horse-trading and the use of money power to muster a majority in the Karnataka Assembly.

Siddaramaiah accuses Modi of encouraging horse-trading

Mr. Siddaramaiah h as accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of encouraging horse-trading to lure Congress and JD(S) legislators to their party for forming the government.

“Modi and Shah are supporting BJP leaders in horse-trading to poach legislators of our party and the Janata Dal (Secular) to prevent us from forming the next government in the state,” IANS quoted Mr. Siddaramaiah as saying in Bengaluru.

Asserting that the party would not allow the BJP to form a government in the state at any cost, Mr. Siddaramaiah said none of the Congress legislators were missing or likely to defect to the BJP. “We have a plan to safeguard our MLAs, who are together and will not join the BJP, which has 8 less seats for the 112-halfway mark and prove majority,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

“We have extended our support to the JD(S) to form the new government, with its State leader H.D. Kumaraswamy as Chief Minister. As we have the numbers (118), Governor Vajubhai R. Vala should c all our alliance first than the BJP, which does not have the required numbers,” Mr. Siddaramaiah pointed out.

The Congress and the JD(S) will parade their MLAs before the Governor at 5 p.m. JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy has left the Shangri-La Hotel for the Raj Bhavan. A bus has been kept ready near the KPCC office to take the MLAs to Raj Bhavan.

JD(S) MLAs have already reached the Raj Bhavan for their “parade” before Governor Vajubhai Vala. The Congress legislators are expected to reach the Raj Bhavan soon.

02: 00 p.m.

Javadekar terms Kumaraswamy’s claim “imaginary”

Union Mininister Prakash Javadekar dismissed Mr. Kumaraswamy’s charge that BJP was offering ₹100 crore to lure its MLAs, calling it “imaginary.”

Meanwhile, outgoing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of encouraging horse-trading. “We have 117 MLAs. Governor has to give the opportunity to us (JD(S)-Congress combine) to form the government ,” he said.

A large number of police personnel are deployed outside the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru on May 16, 2018.

A large number of police personnel are deployed outside the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru on May 16, 2018. | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

12: 30 p.m

‘BJP offered our MLAs ₹100 crore’

Mr. Kumaraswamy accused the BJP of offering ₹100 crore to some of its party members.

Speaking at the Janata Dal Legislative Party meeting, Mr. Kumaraswamy warned the BJP that if it tried ‘Operation Lotus’ once more it would backfire.

“If the BJP indulges in horse trading I will not sit quiet. I am not a Sanyasi to keep quiet and watch the proceedings,” he said. “I would like to tell the Governor that he should not allow horse trading.”

Read more < p>He said the Congress-JD(S) combine had a “clear majority” with the support of 116 MLAs.

“Without the numbers, how can they (BJP) form the government?” he asked.

Mr. Kumaraswamy downplayed the criticism by the Congress in the run-up to the polls. “It is natural in politics. Wasn’t Yeddyurappa once a bitter critic of the BJP... and now its CM candidate?”

***

What is Operation Lotus?

This was the BJP’s political manoeuvre in 2008 when, short of majority, it poached at least 6 JD(S) and Congress MLAs by making them resign from the assembly membership and later contest on the BJP ticket.

12: 20 p.m

Kumaraswamy elected as Legislature Party leader

H.D. Kumaraswamy was elected as JD(S) Legislative party leader.

H.D. Kumaraswamy was elected as JD(S) Legislative party leade r. | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Mr. Kumaraswamy was elected as the leader of the Legislature Party at a Janata Dal (Secular) party meeting on Wednesday.

Until Tuesday morning, Mr. Kumaraswamy, State president of the JD(S), was identified as the “kingmaker”, who would ally with either national party in case of an unclear verdict in the elections. By evening, with a fractured mandate, he was transformed to become a “possible king” in a day of swift developments.

Read more about him here.

Read more

12: 15 p.m.

BJP reaches out to JD(S)

BJP has reached out to JD(S) asking for their support, according to sources.

Union Ministers Prakash Javdekar, J.P. Nadda and Dharmendra Pradhan met H.D. Kumaraswamy at a private hotel in the city and sought JD(S) support to BJP, sources confirmed.

BJP sources claimed that Mr. Kumaraswamy said all decisions were taken by his father H D Deveg owda and asked them to speak to him. However, some JD(S) sources said Mr. Kumaraswamy has rejected the BJP’s proposal.

12: 10 p.m.

Who is the Governor of Karnataka?

Known for his rustic humour and amiable nature, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala is a disciplined BJP leader and was one of the tallest leaders of the party in Gujarat before he was sent on the gubernatorial assignment.

Mr. Vala was the longest serving Finance Minister of Gujarat apart from holding other crucial portfolios like revenue, energy and transport from 1998 to 2012.

Read more 12 p.m.

Yeddyurappa meets Karnataka Governor

BJP's chiefministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa, along with other party leaders, addressing the media after meeting Governor Vajubhai Vala, in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

BJP's chiefministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa, along with other party leaders, addressing the media after meeting Governor Vajubhai Vala, in Bengaluru on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

BJP leader B.S Yeddyurappa met the Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Vala and submitted a formal letter with the signature of 104 MLAs supporting him. He staked claim to form the government as the leader of the single largest party in the Assembly.

Soon after he was elected leader of the BJP legislature party, Mr. Yeddyurappa drove to the Raj Bhavan and handed the Governor a letter about his unanimous election to the post.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said he requested the Governor to allow him to take oath as chief minister as early as possible.

The Governor, he said, had assured him that he would take an “appropriate” decision as early as possible.

“We are 100 per cent confident that he will take a decision immediately,” Mr. Yeddyurappa told reporters.

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