BJP's BS Yeddyurappa on Thursday took oath as the Karnataka Chief Minister, hours after the Supreme Court refused to stay the swearing in ceremony.
The Congress had approached the Supreme Court after Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala allowed the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in assembly elections, to form the government and prove majority on the floor of the House within 15 days.
After hearing the matter for more than three hours beginning 2.11 am, a three-judge bench, comprising justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, directed that the letter sent by the BJP to the governor for forming the government be placed before it.
The court said that the the outcome of the swearing in would be subject to the outcome of the petition filed by the Congress and JD(S). When Abhishek Manu Singvi pleaded that the swearing in be stayed, the court refused to do so. His plea to schedule the floor test in the Karnataka legislative assembly for Friday was also rejected.
The court also asked the Attorney General to produce the May 15 and 16 letters written by Yeddyurappa to the Governor in which he staked a claim to form the government. There were dramatic arguments in the court that began at 2 am, with the Congress saying that the action of the Governor was wrong in law. Abhishek Manu Singvi appearing for the Congress and JD(S) said that the Governor completely dispensed with the Constitutional norm.
He said that Kumaraswamy staked a claim to form the government with the support from the Congress. They have a total strength of 116 in the 222 member House. The BJP has just 104 MLAs and the Governor invited the party and this is unconstitutional, Singvi also argued.
The result of the Karnataka assembly elections 2018 was announced on May 15 and the BJP emerged as the single largest party by bagging 104 seats in a 224 seat assembly (polling was held in 222 seats on May 12). The BJP ended up eight seats short of the majority mark which gave the Congress and the JD (S) to cobble up an alliance and stake a claim to form the government. Congress-JD (S) combine has 118 seats, which is well above the halfway mark needed to form the government.