New Delhi, May 18: As the nation huffed and puffed through political chaos in the aftermath of a "minority" Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government coming to power in Karnataka, on Friday the Supreme Court gave a new lease of life to those who were crying foul over the "murder of democracy".
The apex court asked the BS Yeddyurappa government to prove its majority on the floor of the house at 4pm on Saturday. The order was passed by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising of Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)) combine in Karnataka against the decision of Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala to invite BJP's Yeddyurappa to form the government.
Earlier, Vala gave 15-day period to the BJP government in the southern state to prove its majority. Thus the entire process has been preponed by at least 12 days. The SC's ruling is also against Vala's controversial decision to administer the oath of office and secrecy to Yeddyurappa on Thursday, putting further questions on the independence and integrity of the governor's office.
Incidentally, the Congress decided to observe a nationwide protest--"Save the Democracy"--on Friday against Vala's controversial decision to give preference to the BJP to form the government despite having just 104 seats with it.
The Congress-JD(S) alliance too had staked claim to form the government in Karnataka which was not entertained by the governor. In order to avoid poaching of its MLAs, both the Congress and the JD(S) have now taken all their newly-elected legislators to Hyderabad on Thursday midnight.
The Congress-JD(S) combine claims to have the support of 116 MLAs, which is well past the majority mark. The Congress has hailed the decision of SC as "historic".
The micro-blogging site, Twitter, which has been closely observing all the political developments in Karnataka since the time of election campaign, has hailed the decision of the Supreme Court too.
A Twitter user has succinctly put the apex court's verdict as a step to "save democracy".
SC saves democracy #SaveDemocracyDay— Rahul sharma (@Helpdes99146637) May 18, 2018
The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) too welcomed the judgement for upholding "democratic principles".
We welcome the judgement of the Supreme Court which has upheld democratic principles. Congress and JD(S) have a comfortable majority in the assembly and it will be proven in the floor test tomorrow. #SaveDemocracyDay— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) May 18, 2018
One more Twitter user wrote that the "faith of the country in the 'people's court' has been vindicated".
Faith of the country in "People's court" has been vindicated.#SupremeCourt has upheld principles of democracy & established rule of law by ordering #FloorTest in Karnataka.#BJP & Governor have been making fervent attempts to subvert constitution &stay in power.#SaveDemocracyDay— Rajeev Satav (@SATAVRAJEEV) May 18, 2018
Working president of the KPCC, Dinesh Gundu Rao, wrote, "SC asks for Karnataka's Vidhana Sabha floor test tomorrow at 4pm..It's an indictment of the Governors decision & the disgraceful conduct by the BJP. Welcome the SC's judgement."
SC asks for Karnataka’s Vidhana Sabha floor test tomorrow at 4pm..It’s an indictment of the Governors decision & the disgraceful conduct by the BJP. Welcome the SC’s judgement. #SaveDemocracyDay— Dinesh Gundu Rao (@dineshgrao) May 18, 2018
However, not all agree with the Supreme Court's verdict as they alleged that in the past the Congress had "murdered democracy" several times.
#SaveDemocracyDay#Congress murdered democratically elected state governments more than 85 times by mis using art 356#IndiraGandhi alone misused art 356 more than 50 times— @BM (@Bharat_Manthan) May 18, 2018
In 1975 she did cold blood murder of democracy through emergency#IAmWithModi #Karnataka #floortest pic.twitter.com/uSxN6nNL2D