Karnataka political turmoil LIVE: The political turmoil in Karnataka is escalating each day as the power struggle continues between BJP, Congress and JD(S) in the state. In the latest development, the Supreme Court has now ordered floor test tomorrow (May 19) at 4 PM. Today, the Supreme Court had suggested holding the floor test as the best option. In a press briefing today, the Congress party has slammed Governor Vajubhai Vala for violating the Constitution. Outgoing CM Siddaramaiah has welcomed the Supreme Court’s order for a floor test on Saturday. Rejecting suggestions of any break in the ranks of Congress and JD(S), Siddaramaiah maintained that all their MLAs were together ahead of the floor test tomorrow.
Earlier in the day, after the SC suggestion, Congress-JDS Lawyer, Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued that the alliance is ready for floor test tomorrow. He said that BJP’s Yeddyurappa claimed to support, but he does not have letters of support from these MLAs or it is only his oral submissions. BJP counsel Mukul Rohatgi pleaded Supreme Court to fix floor test on Monday. He said that Congress and JDS MLAs are locked up outside the state, and they also have to come to vote. The BJP has 104 MLAs in the House. The Congress won 78 seats, while the JD(S) was victorious in 37 constituencies.
10.05 PM: Supreme Court to hear Congress’s plea regarding the appointment of pro tem speaker of BJP MLA tomorrow at 10:30 am.
9.55 PM: I am in touch with the JD(S) MLAs so that they support BS Yeddyurappa ji tomorrow. Nobody can even dare to ask me to help them & nobody has dared to ask me as yet. Party is like my mother: Preetham Gowda, BJP.
9.45 PM: JD(S) MLAs leave for Bengaluru from Hyderabad’s Novotel Hotel.
9.25 PM: JD(S) & Congress have jointly given the list of 118 MLAs to Governor. We’ve sufficient strength to form Govt in Karnataka. This morning Supreme Court has given judgment on Governor’s decision. For past 2 days, BJP is trying to buy the MLAs of the opposition: HD Kumaraswamy, JD (S).
9.20 PM: Two MLAs have been hijacked by our BJP friends. But, I am certain that they will come back to us: HD Kumaraswamy, JD (S).
9.12 PM: Earlier, BJP termed the Congress’ move to stake claim to form a government in Goa as a “political stunt” to “keep its flock together” and to “cover up” its electoral reverses. The Congress had, earlier during the day, met Goa Governor Mridula Sinha staking claim to form the government since it was the single largest party in the state Legislative Assembly. The party, which has 16 MLAs in the 40-member House, had said that the Governor must follow the precedent set by her Karnataka counterpart who invited the single largest party (BJP) to form the government there.
9.00 PM: Congress-JDS writ petition challenging the appointment of MLA KG Bopaiah as pro-tem Speaker has been filed in Supreme Court. The petition claims that the appointment of pro-tem speaker was completely unconstitutional: Devdutt Kamat, lawyer for the Congress.
8.50 PM: Inside visuals of Congress MLAs meeting in Hyderabad’s hotel Taj Krishna. In the meeting, Siddaramiah has been announced as the Congress Legislature Party leader.
8.40 PM: Lawyers representing Congress side reach the Registrar Office of Supreme Court, seeking an urgent hearing on the appointment of KG Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker of Karnataka assembly.
8.35 PM: MLAs are with us. Whatever misuse they had to do they have done. Supreme Court has also given them a good scolding not verbally but in terms of action, it is a different matter that the people of BJP have a thick skin: Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress.
8.30 PM: Earlier, the Congress-JD (S) combine approached the Supreme Court challenging Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to appoint BJP man K G Bopaiah as the pro tem Speaker of the assembly to conduct the crucial floor test tomorrow. According to sources, the petition was placed before a registrar of the apex court but some defects were pointed out in the plea. “Some defects have been pointed out to us and we are curing those defects,” one of the lawyers, associated with the development, said.
8.15 PM: The Twitter handle of BJP Karnataka has launched a staunch attack on Congress. The following is what they wrote on Twitter.
Who is the mimicry artist you hired to perform Janardhan Reddy’s voice? He has done a pretty good job.
Kindly share his coordinates. We would want to know if he can do a voiceover of Siddu & DKS as well. May be even we can release an audio tape!
— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) May 18, 2018
8.00 PM: This audio CD is one of the handiworks of Congress’ dirty tricks department. This is a fake CD: Prakash Javadekar on the audio, which was released by Congress, in which Janaradhana Reddy is allegedly trying to lure Congress MLA from Raichur Rural by offering him money.
7.50 PM: Of course they are with us, if the MLAs from Congress & JD(S) don’t support us, how can we prove majority? We will win the floor test 101%: BS Yeddyurappa, CM of Karnataka.
7.45 PM: We are in the Shangri-La hotel for the legislature meeting. We have the majority. More than what we expected. Our workers are really happy: BS Yeddyurappa, CM of Karnataka.
7.40 PM: His name is Devanand Chavan (one standing in the middle), MLA from Nagathan, he is still with us. BJP leaders are misleading about him that he is supporting BJP: Saravana, JD(S).
7.35 PM: Earlier in the day, SC suggested holding floor test tomorrow at 4 PM. Supreme Court has said that it is a number game, so in its observation, the apex court has asked to hold the floor test tomorrow.
7.20 PM: Congress MLAs leave from Hotel Taj Krishna in Hyderabad. They will be traveling to Bengaluru now.
7.10 PM: Congress has serious objections to pro-tem being appointed by Governor, says senior Congress party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
7.04 PM: Congress releases audio clip in which Janaradhana Reddy is allegedly trying to lure Congress MLA from Raichur Rural by offering him money.
7.00 PM: BREAKING! Congress alleges that BJP leader Janardhan Reddy is trying to bribe its party MLAs.
6.55 PM: Congress’ southern ally, DMK, welcomed the Supreme Court directive today to hold a floor test in Karnataka tomorrow and demanded the removal of Governor Vajubai Vala for his “mistake” in inviting the BJP to form the government. “The verdict given by the Supreme Court is seen as a big victory for democracy and the Constitution. The mistake by the Karnataka Governor has become apparent,” DMK working president M K Stalin told reporters here.
6.50 PM: All 77 MLAs from Congress are all set to head towards Bangalore from Hyderabad as per TV reports. Meanwhile, the 104 BJP MLAs are likely to spend the night at the Shangri La Hotel in Bangalore.
6.40 PM: Legal experts were today divided over the choice of the pro tem Speaker of the Karnataka assembly by the Governor, but were one on the Supreme Court’s direction to conduct the floor test tomorrow, terming it reasonable and justified. Senior advocates Rakesh Dwivedi, Ajit Sinha and Vikas Singh hailed the apex court’s order and said the direction would help dispelling the speculations of “horse trading and poaching”. While Dwivedi said the top court’s order to conduct the floor test was “quite reasonable”, Sinha echoed similar views and said there was nothing wrong in the time limit granted by the apex court.
6.15 PM: Reportedly, BJP will hold a meeting where the recently elected legislators have been asked to gather at party headquarters today evening at 9.00 pm at Shangri La Hotel in Bangalore. All the 104 MLAs have been asked to meet there. The winning MLAs have been asked to carry their winning certificates during the meeting.
5.52 PM: All the MLAs are here, we will be leaving for Bengaluru. We don’t have any meeting here. Siddaramaiah has come here, we will be leaving soon. We have 77 MLAs here. No pressure on us. It will be our govt: Rajshekar Patil, Congress MLA in Hyderabad.
5.45 PM: KG Bopaiah has violated Constitutional norms and was issued orders by the SC in 2011 and indictment was passed against him for his conduct as Speaker: Randeep Singh Surjewala, Congress.
5.44 PM: As per the orders of the SC, tomorrow, the members will take oath and there shall be a vote of confidence conducted by the pro tem speaker. The Governor has no authority to use his discretion in appointing the pro tem speaker: Randeep Singh Surjewala, Congress.
5.43 PM: We will be able to inform you in a short while. Yes, the option of going back to Court is open: Randeep Surjewala, Congress on if Congress will challenge BJP MLA KG Bopaiah’s appointment as pro tem Speaker.
5.40 PM: Appointment of KG Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker violates constitutional traditions and parliamentary practices: Randeep Singh Surjewala, Congress.
5.35 PM: Congress to move to the Supreme Court over pro tem speaker. Congress’ legal team finalising draft plea reports Times Now.
5.32 PM: Bopaiah was trying to defeat the floor test so that Yeddyurappa remains the CM: Randeep Singh Surjewala, Congress.
5.30 PM: The Governor Vajubhai Vala has once again launched an encounter on the Constitution by appointing K G Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker instead of the senior most MLA: Randeep Singh Surjewala, Congress.
5.27 PM: The BJP shall be exposed after floor test tomorrow,” says Randeep Singh Surjewala from Congress at a media briefing in New Delhi.
5.25 PM: Visuals of Siddaramaiah meeting the Congress MLAs at Hotel Taj Krishna in Hyderabad.
5.15 PM: Siddaramiah arrives at Hotel Taj Krishna in Hyderabad to meet the Congress MLAs.
5.00 PM: Siddaramaiah arrives in Hyderabad, he would be meeting Congress MLAs staying in Taj Krishna hotel.
4.43 PM: The Supreme Court today gave clear-cut four-step instructions for holding the floor test in the Karnataka assembly tomorrow. The order from SC came to ascertain the majority or otherwise of the B S Yedyurappa’s government in the state. In its order, SC enumerated the four steps that have to be followed for holding the floor test. This exercise has to be completed before 4 PM when the floor test will be held to ascertain the majority.
4.26 PM: Working President, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, Dinesh Gundu Rao tweeted, “Shocking decision by the Hon’ble Governor..Constitutional Convention says the seniormost, in this case RV Deshpande should’ve been named. Also, Supreme Court had passed structures against the conduct of KG Bopiah as Speaker.
Sad to see Vajubhai Valaji behaving like an agent of BJP.” He also tweeted an image of the appointment letter of KG Bopaiah given by Vajubhai Vala, the Governor of Karnataka.
4.20 PM: Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar on Twitter wrote, “Shri KG Bopaiah was appointed as Pro Tem speaker even in 2008 by the then Governor. That time Bopaiah was 10 years younger than what he is today. The Congress is thus raising hoax objection. The appointment of Bopaiah Ji is as per rules and regulations.”
4.17 PM: The role of the speaker will be crucial tomorrow as it is the speaker who will conduct the floor test in Karnataka Assembly tomorrow.
4.08 PM: Accusing the BJP of adopting unethical means to grab power, its estranged ally Shiv Sena today questioned why the party had different sets of rules while forming governments in Goa, Manipur, and Karnataka. The Sena claimed that although BJP chief Amit Shah had inadvertently called BS Yeddyurappa “most corrupt”, the party faced the “ignominy” of making him the chief minister of Karnataka once again.
3.55 PM: “What the BJP has done is against the rule book. Ideally, the senior most leader is supposed to hold that position,” said Abhishek Manu Singhvi from Congress.
3.50 PM: Congress responds on BJP MLA being appointed as pro tem speaker. “What BJP has done is not a right thing by asking the person who is not the senior most MLA to be a pro tem speaker,” says Abhishek Singhvi from Congress.
3.48 PM: Massive flashpoint in Karnataka as BJP’s MLA KG Bopaiah appointed pro tem speaker ahead of the floor test tomorrow.
3.45 PM: BJP MLAs arrive at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru to meet the Governor.
3:28 PM: BJP wanted that vote of confidence should be done via secret ballot. But, Supreme Court has written in its order that there shall be no secret ballot in proving vote of confidence tomorrow: Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Congress.
3:20 PM: ‘Never see such desperation for the post of Chief Minister’, says Manu Singhvi on Yeddyurappa. ‘Floor test was inevitable. Congress for floor test’, says Congress.
3:18 PM: Congress press briefing starts. Congress counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi addresses media.
3:15 PM: Rejecting suggestions of any break in the ranks of Congress and JD(S), former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today maintained that all their MLAs were together ahead of the floor test tomorrow.
3:00 PM: Fearing another Goa, Congress had drafted an SC plea for the largest party to be invited first. It seems they knew that Congress will be the single largest party & they had this doubt that BJP & JD(S) will come together to form the govt: Sambit Patra, BJP.
2:55 PM: Ahead of the tomorrow’s floor test in Karnataka Assembly, all recently elected BJP MLAs to meet at party office in Bengaluru, in the evening today.
2:30 PM: Sensational charge by top Congress leader, claims our MLA Anand Singh held captive’ as per Times Now report.
2:15 PM: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today accused the BJP of dividing people and making them fight among themselves, alleging that the situation in the country was deteriorating and the Dalits and tribals were being attacked.
1:55 PM: Rs. 100 crore or Rs. 200 crore, our MLAs are with us. None of our members are going away. Today, evening or tomorrow early morning, we all are leaving for Bengaluru: GT Devegowda, JD(S)
1:35 PM: We should get an opportunity to prove ourselves’, says RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) May 18, 2018
1:30 PM: Mr.Yeddyurappa who has 104 MLAs including himself, in the letter requested for 7 days, he had no other name, yet Governor invited him. It was unconstitutional, Governor even gave him 15 days time: Siddaramaiah
1:12 PM: “The BJP’s bluff that it will form the Govt., even without the numbers, has been called out by the court,” tweets Rahul Gandhi.
Today’s Supreme Court order, vindicates our stand that Governor Vala acted unconstitutionally.
The BJP’s bluff that it will form the Govt., even without the numbers, has been called out by the court.
Stopped legally, they will now try money & muscle, to steal the mandate.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 18, 2018
1:11 PM: Congress President Rahul Gandhi today said the Supreme Court order on floor test in Karnataka was a vindication of the party’s stand that the governor acted “unconstitutionally”.
1:05 PM: ‘Immediately after the elections, no political party could get the required numbers to form the government’, says Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress.
1:04 PM: Congress have welcomed the SC order for a floor test tomorrow.
1:03 PM: We have approached the governer thrice to form the govt, says Siddaramaiah.
1:02 PM: Congress-JD(S) together have the majority: Siddaramaiah.
1:01 PM: As per the directions of Supreme Court, we are expected to prove our majority tomorrow. We are sending our file to Karnataka governor to call an assembly session at 11 am tomorrow. We are going to prove majority: BS Yeddyurappa, CM of Karnataka.
12:57 PM: We welcome Supreme Court order to conduct floor test tomorrow: Congress
12:55 PM: Pro tem speaker must be senior most MLA: Congress
12:50 PM: No governor has ever given a party 2 weeks to prove majority, says Ghulam Nabi Azad on Vajubhai Vala’s decision.
12:46 PM: Governer didn’t abide by the constitution, says Ghulam Nabi Azad.
12:45 PM: Congress starts press briefing ahead of Saturday Floor Test.
12:20 PM: “BJP is ready and confident of winning trust vote in Karnataka. We will prove our majority on the floor of the House.”, tweets Prakash Javadekar.
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) May 18, 2018
12:05 PM: SC 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: Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
12:02 PM: We welcome the Supreme Court’s order. We will prove majority on the floor of the House tomorrow, we are ready for floor test, says BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje.
12:00 PM: The terms set by Supreme Court for Saturday Floor Test are- (1) Floor test on Saturday at 4 PM; (2) B S Yeddyurappa can’t take major policy decisions; (3) No secret ballot during floor test; (4) Nomination of Anglo-Indian MLA on hold
11:50 AM: SC verdict has upheld constitutional morality & 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, says Ashwani Kumar,Congress on SC directing floor test in K’taka Assembly
11:42 AM: Protem Speaker will decide what manner the floor test should be held: SC
11:41 AM: AG KK Venugopal suggests floor test by secret ballot, Supreme Court rejects suggestion.
11:34 AM: Supreme Court orders floor test tomorrow at 4 PM.
11:33 AM: BJP’s lawyer Mukul Rohatgi opposes the floor test tomorrow, says, ‘need time.’
11:32 AM: BJP lawyer Mukul Rohtagi opposes immediate floor test.
11:24 AM: The entire proceedings should be video-graphed and ensure proper security to MLAs to vote fearlessly, says Congress counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi
11:20 AM: But INCIndia and JD(S) should be given first chance. Governor’s decision is erroneous when Cong-JDS combine have the support of majority MLAs, says Congress counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi
11:18 AM: Abhishek Manu Singhvi, sought proper security for Congress-JD(S) MLAs in case of floor test being conducted. Supreme Court observed that it can pass an order to make proper security arrangements.
11:14 AM: Congress counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi has agreed to the floor test tomorrow, as per Times Now report.
11:12 AM: Lawyer for Congress-JD(S), Abhishek Manu Singhvi, submits to Supreme Court that Congress-JD(S) are ready for floor test tomorrow.
11:10 AM: Lawyer for Congress-JD(S), Abhishek Manu Singhvi argues, ‘Yeddyurappa claimed support, but he does not have letters of support from these MLAs or it is only his oral submissions.’
11:09 AM: In Supreme Court, Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri said, ‘floor test seems to be the best option.’
11:08 AM: SC observed that as BS Yeddyurappa has claimed support and BJP is single largest party, there could be two probabilities. whether Guv’s decision has to be tested or a floor test has to be held on Saturday.
11:07 AM: Congress-JD(S) plea against Karnataka Governor inviting BJP to form govt: Supreme Court says, ‘It is just a number game, one who enjoys the majority should be invited to form the Govt.’
11:04 AM: In a big development, the Supreme Court has suggested holding floor test tomorrow. Supreme Court has said that it is ultimately a number game, so in its observation, the apex court has asked to hold the floor test tomorrow.