The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that newly-appointed Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa must face a floor test in the Assembly on Saturday at 4 pm to ascertain whether or not he has a majority. What this means is as follows:
1. Floor Test Must Be Conducted At 4pm Tomorrow
2. Protem Speaker to decide the mode of test
3. No Secret Ballot
4. Govt shall not nominate the Anglo Indian Representative
5. Government shall not take any major policy decisionshttps://t.co/lig487mx0k
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) May 18, 2018
And as the senior-most member of the Assembly, it appears Congress MLA Raghunath Vishvanath Deshpande will be appointed pro tem Speaker.
Yeddyurappa took oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, thanks to the Supreme Court nod despite a Congress petition against the BJP forming a government in state. But the battle is not over yet, as the BJP still has to prove it has the numbers on the floor of the House. Quoting sources in the Assembly Secretariat, CNN-News18 reported that Deshpande's name has been forwarded to Governor Vajubhai Vala for consideration.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) May 17, 2018
As per convention, the senior-most member of the House is chosen as a pro tem Speaker. His/her main role is that of administering the oath of office and secrecy to the newly-elected MLAs. For the recommendation, it is also taken into account that he or she is not likely to be a candidate for the post of Speaker or a minister. Apart from conducting the proceedings, the pro tem Speaker will take a call on whether the trust vote should be held through a voice vote or ballot.
At 71, the eight-time MLA is the senior-most in the House. The current strength of the Assembly is 222 and the magic number is 112. While the alliance between the Congress and the JD(S) has claimed that together have the support of 116 MLAs.
The BJP has emerged as the single largest party in the southern state winning 104 seats, but is eight short with 104 MLAs. Vala has given the BJP 15 days' time to prove its majority.
After Yeddyurappa was sworn-in as the chief minister, the Congress on Thursday claimed that he will turn out to be a "one-day chief minister" as he lacks majority.
"Yeddyurappa will turn out one-day chief minister… His fate as the chief minister is dependent on the court hearing," Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters in New Delhi. The party also challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah to prove the numbers by Friday.
The Congress also attacked Vala, accusing him of encountering Constitution twice, first by inviting the BJP to form government on Thursday and allowing Yeddyurappa to take oath while a matter in this connection is set to be heard on Friday by the Supreme Court.
The Congress and the JD(S) had on Thursday night jointly petitioned before the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the oath-taking ceremony, as communicated by the governor to the BJP's chief ministerial candidate Yeddyurappa. The court did not stay the swearing-in ceremony and the next hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday at 10.30 am.
In view of the developments, the Congress has decided to protest the on Friday by holding dharnas across the country. Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said Yeddyurappa's fate is sealed in his letter given to Vala as it makes no mention of a number bigger than the 104 MLAs of the BJP.
Mr Yedyurappa's letter to the Governor will seal his fate. There is no mention of a number bigger than 104. The Governor's invitation does not mention any number at all!
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 17, 2018
The Union former finance and home minister also said had he been in Yeddyurappa's place, he would not have taken the oath till the apex court took a decision on the petition filed by the Congress-JD(S) combine challenging the governor's decision to invite him to take oath.
However, Yeddyurappa is a "100 percent sure" of winning the vote of confidence in the Assembly and completing the five-year term. "I am sure of winning the vote of confidence and my government completing five years," said Yeddyurappa at a press conference on Thursday after taking the oath.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: May 18, 2018 12:09 PM