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Karnataka floor test: Congress hails SC decision, terms it 'historic'

By Vikas

The Congress party on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court's direction that the floor test in the Karnataka legislative assembly be held on Saturday (tomorrow) at 4 pm and termed it a 'historic verdict'. The apex court said that the pro-tem Speaker to be appointed by the Governor will decide on all issues relating to the floor test in accordance with the law.

"Supreme Court has delivered a historic verdict, many important directions have been given, one of them being that floor test has to be conducted at 4 pm tomorrow under a protem speaker," Congress' legal counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the media.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi

"Supreme Court also said that oath should be administered to all MLAs before the floor test tomorrow and BS Yeddyurappa cannot take any policy decisions until tomorrow," Singhvi added.

Congress leader Ashwani Kumar said that the Supreme Court's verdict has upheld constitutional morality and democracy.

"It's a judgement that should be celebrated. Faith of people in wisdom of SC is vindicated once again. It's set back for a party that wanted to usurp power," Congress' Ashwani Kumar told ANI.

B S Yeddyurappa who was sworn in as Chief Minister of Karnataka on Thursday will face the crucial floor test. His fate would be decided on the floor of the House, the court also said.

What BJP leaders said:

The BJP has also welcomed the floor test and exuded confidence that they would sail through.

"We welcome the Supreme Court's order. We will prove majority on the floor of the House tomorrow, we are ready for floor test," BJP's Shobha Karandlaje told media.

"Will discuss with Chief secretary and call for assembly session tomorrow. We are 100% confident that we will prove full majority," Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa said.

What transpired in the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court said that the best way to decide this matter would be on the floor of the House. The court had earlier indicated that it wanted the test to be held on Saturday itself. This was however opposed to by Mukul Rohatgi who was arguing for the BJP.

We cannot give more time, said the Supreme Court. Let the floor test be conducted tomorrow itself the court said. When Kapil Sibal arguing for H D Kumaraswamy said that there should be division of Benches, the court said that the pro-tem speaker will decide all issues related to the floor test in accordance with the law. The court also asked the DGP to take all measures to keep things under control outside the Assembly to make floor test happen smoothly inside the House. The court also asked why should there any further argument when the parties have agreed for a floor test.

Earlier Mukul Rohatgi said that he has got the copy of the letters written by Yeddyurappa to the Governor. Rohatgi read out out the May 15 letter saying since there is no pre-poll alliance, as Single Largest Party, BJP can form govt. The May 16 letter says,"I have the support of others and requisite majority." He said that there was no need to give all the names in the letter. The majority would be proven in the House he said. He also said that he had instructions from several MLAs on the other side that they have not given letters of support. Many on other side have not given letters of support he also said.

Abhishek Manu Singvi arguing for the Congress-JD(S) said that the court must decide on who gets the first chance to prove majority. Singhvi said election is one part but who gets invite first is a completely different ball game. We know what happens when a minority support base party gets invite to form government. It will kill democracy, he also said.

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