Ahead of the crucial floor test in the Karnataka assembly, the Congress today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to assure the country that he would not encourage “buying MLAs off” as the BJP seeks to prove majority, and welcomed the assurance of live telecast of House proceedings.
Ahead of the crucial floor test in the Karnataka assembly, the Congress today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to assure the country that he would not encourage “buying MLAs off” as the BJP seeks to prove majority, and welcomed the assurance of live telecast of House proceedings. The Congress said that every alleged attempt of the BJP to derail the vote of confidence stood “defeated” and asserted the “democracy will win”.
Addressing reporters here, senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who represented the Congress-JD(S) combine in the Supreme Court, said they did not press for the replacement of pro tem speaker K G Bopaiah after the assurance of live broadcast of the proceedings.
The Congress and the JD(S) had approached the apex court raising questions over the appointment of Bopaiah as the temporary speaker, contending he was not the senior most legislator. It also maintained that Bopaiah had a “tainted past” as he as the then speaker had tried to save a previous government of Yeddyurappa, who faced corruption charges, in 2011.
Singhvi said whosoever wins or loses in the trust vote, it is the “democracy which will win”. Sibal also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying “He (Modi) should also say ‘na kharidunga, na kharidane dunga’ (will neither buy off, nor let anyone be bought over).” “The prime minister keeps saying ‘na khaunga, na khane dunga’ (will neither indulge in corruption nor allow it). He should also say ‘na kharidunga, na kharidane dunga’,” quipped Sibal.
There was no question of replacing the pro tem speaker when proceedings would be live telecast and transparency would be ensured, he added. Asked about the BJP’s claim that the Supreme Court’s order was a blow for the Congress, Sibal countered it, suggesting that things were otherwise as the time period allowed for the BJP by Governor Vajubhai Vala was reduced from 15 days to 24 hours (which ends today).
Singhvi seconded Sibal, and added that the Supreme Court also said no to secret ballot and the pro tem speaker was disallowed to take any other agenda, suggesting the decision favoured the Congress-JD(S) combine. “The achievement of our petition before the court is holding the trust vote in one-and-a-half days as against 15 days allowed earlier,” he added.
Asked why did the Congress move the petition if it had to withdraw its pleas, Singhvi said the offer to hold live telecast was given only after our petition. He described the move of live telecast as “a virtue out of necessity”. Singhvi said, “We wanted safeguards to be in place on our apprehension.
In a way most of our demands have been met.” Another senior leader of the party, P Chidambaram, saluted the apex court and added the live broadcast of the House proceedings would mean every citizen watching television “will be a pro tem speaker”. “In Karnataka, what is at stake is not only who will form the Government, but who will be loyal to the electorate and uphold the verdict of his/her voters.
“Every trick of the BJP to delay or derail the vote of confidence has been defeated. Now, I am sure the Congress and JDS MLAs will defeat Mr Yeddyurappa,” he tweeted. The Supreme Court today ordered live telecast of the floor test, which is scheduled for 4 pm. “Live broadcast of floor test will be the best possible way to ensure transparency in the proceedings,” a bench comprising justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan said.
The bench also made it clear that no other item in the agenda shall be taken up during the trust vote. The bench said the secretary of the Legislative Assembly will record the proceedings of the House. It said that several local channels will be provided the live feed of the proceedings so that they can also be in a position to telecast simultaneously.
The Supreme Court yesterday ordered a floor test in the Karnataka Assembly at 4 PM today, drastically slashing the 15-day window given by the Governor to BJP Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to prove majority. The BJP has emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, followed by the Congress with 78, JD(S) with 37 and three seats have gone to others in the 224-member Assembly where elections were held for 222 seats.
The majority mark is 112 seats and the post-poll alliance strength of the Congress-JD(S) combine, which claims to have 117 MLAs, has alleged foul play in the Governor inviting BJP to form the government.