Karnataka govt formation updates: With BSY out of way, JD(S)-Congress discuss Cabinet berths, modalities of alliance

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Karnataka govt formation updates: With BSY out of way, JD(S)-Congress discuss Cabinet berths, modalities of alliance
  • 22:31 (IST)

    HD Kumaraswamy met Adichunchanagiri Mutt head, Nirmalanandanatha Swami 

    Congress leaders to discuss power-sharing arrangement in Karnataka tomorrow

  • 22:31 (IST)

    HD Kumaraswamy's oath-taking ceremony postponed till Wednesday, reports CNN-News18

  • 21:16 (IST)

    Kamal Haasan congratulates HD Kumaraswamy on Twitter, hails victory of democracy

  • 21:14 (IST)

    Congress fell on its knees before JD(S) to keep BJP out, says Ananth Kumar

    Ananth Kumar said people of Karnataka rejected Congress andpeople of Chamundeshwari constituency rejected Siddaramaiah whereas JDS became a "marginal" party. 
    "It is a shame for the Congress party that despite having 78 seats, they have fallen at the feet of JD(S) just to stopBJP," he said.

  • 21:14 (IST)

    Congress fell on its knees before JD(S) to keep BJP out, says Ananth Kumar

    Ananth Kumar said people of Karnataka rejected Congress andpeople of Chamundeshwari constituency rejected Siddaramaiah whereas JDS became a "marginal" party. 
    "It is a shame for the Congress party that despite having 78 seats, they have fallen at the feet of JD(S) just to stopBJP," he said.

  • 20:41 (IST)

    Wanted to expose Congress before people of Karnataka, have succeeded in that: Amit Shah on BSY's exit

    "BJP has already won the Karnataka elections. People of the state have clearly given their mandate to get rid of Congress. We approached the people of Karnataka with what PM Modi has been doing since he came to power and the manner in which Siddaramaiah government has been exploiting the state. You cannot ignore the will the people of a state. We wanted to expose the Congress before Karnataka and I believe we have succeeded in that. There is no question of buying any MLAs because we never wanted any MLAs from their party. These accusations are baseless. Congress leaders have themselves not accepted their alliance with JD(S). Congress has now developed a new theory under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, on how to win the battle despite losing it,” Amit Shah said. 

  • 20:08 (IST)

    N Chandrababu Naidu hail Karnataka development as victory of democarcy 

    Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today termed the resignation of B S Yeddyurappa as Karnataka Chief Minister a "victory of democracy" and said it was a day everybody should feel proud of.

    "This is not an ordinary victory. Entire people of the country will be happy. It is a proud day for all of us," Naidu said at a meeting of women self-help groups leaders here this evening. He said normally a party with majority would be invited to form the government. 

    "But, going against the tradition, the (Karnataka) governor did not invite Congress-JDS combine (that has majority) to form the government. 

  • 20:06 (IST)

    Will invite Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi to attend swearing-in ceremony, says HD Kumaraswamy

    "I want to thank Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad and other Congress leaders and MLAs for their support. I want to thank everyone, people of Karnataka, Mayawati ji for their support, Kumaraswamy said. "I will invite Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi ji personally to attend the oath-taking ceremony," says Kumaraswamy. "We will call a session soon to prove our majority," he added.

  • 20:03 (IST)

    Akhilesh Yadav demands central govt's resignation on moral grounds

    Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has termed the collapse of the three-day-old B S Yeddyurappa government in Karnataka a "victory of the people's mandate" and asked the central government to resign on moral grounds.

    "Today, the people's mandate has prevailed over money power," Yadav wrote on Twitter in Hindi. "Those who thought they could buy everyone have learnt the lesson that there are still people left who don't consider politics a business," he tweeted. "The central government should also resign on moral grounds," he added.

  • 20:01 (IST)

    Captain Amarinder Singh hails Karnataka development, demands Governor Vala's resignation on ethical grounds

    Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh hailed the collapse of the three-day-old B S Yeddyurappa government in Karnataka just before a crucial trust vote today as a vindication of the Congress party's moral stand and a "total loss of face" for the BJP. Singh alleged the BJP had "stooped to new lows" in its desperation to grab power in Karnataka by "hook or by crook".

  • 19:55 (IST)

    In a show of strength, all opposition leaders invited to HDK swearing-in

  • 19:53 (IST)

    Power never influenced my determination, says BS Yeddyurappa 

    "People have blessed us by making us the single largest party in this election. Power has never influenced my determination to stand up for a cause. Irrespective of that, I shall continue to fight for the betterment of the farmers and my people of Karnataka," Yeddyurappa said. 

  • 19:46 (IST)

    Late night meeting between Congress, JD(S)

    "Congress leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot will play a role in making this alliance a success. We will meet after 8.30 tonight at the Ashoka Hotel to finalise the modalities of the alliance," Kumaraswamy said.

    He also said that the BJP has not given up on the operation Kamala completely. He said that both the parties will sit together to decide how best to tackle these problems. 

  • 19:43 (IST)

    Guv invites JD(S), Congress to form govt; oath-taking on Monday, says HD Kumaraswamy 

    "I have just met the governor. He has invited the JD(S), Congress coalition to form a government as the BJP did not prove the majority.
    Along with the invitation, he has also asked us to prove our majority. On Monday morning, we will be hold a grand oath-taking ceremony at Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru," Kumaraswamy said.

  • 19:32 (IST)

    JDS workers celebrate win in Virajpet today after BS Yeddyurappa steps down

    Input by Indresh/101Reporters

  • 19:28 (IST)

    HD Kumaraswamy reaches Raj Bhawan to stake fresh claim

    Elected leader of the Congress, JD(S) alliance has reached the Raj Bhavan and is due to meet the governor in some time. He will stake a fresh claim to form a government in Karnataka. His swearing-in is likely on Monday, media reports said.  

  • 19:20 (IST)

    After BSY's exit, BJP's Ananth Kumar says JD(S), Congress' 'unholy' coalition will not last long

    Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar on Saturday said the coalition government of Congress and the JD(S) would not last long as it was an "unholy nexus."

    "BJP alone can give a stable government," Kumar told reporters here soon after BS Yeddyurappa announced his decision to quit as Karnataka chief minister without facing the vote of confidence in the Assembly.

    The party cadres would not sit idle even for a minute and would take the "Congress' story of betrayal" to every village of Karnataka, he said.

  • 19:17 (IST)

    Amid Karnataka political drama, ManjulToon's take on today's development 

  • 18:59 (IST)

    HD Kumaraswamy to meet governor at 7.30 pm, reports CNN-News18

  • 18:55 (IST)

    Deputy CM to be from Congress, say reports

    With BS Yeddyurappa out of their way, Congress and JD(S) have started working out the modalities of their alliance. NDTV reported that the two parties have agreed that the deputy chief minister will be elected from the Congress party.

  • 18:48 (IST)

    After leading Congress to yet another defeat, Rahul Gandhi claims credit for grabbing power through an alliance

    It was interesting to see Rahul Gandhi appear for the news conference and blast Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and the RSS for their role in "murdering democracy". Looking at his tone of triumphalism, and the excitable commentary on TV studios, digital platforms and social media', one could be forgiven for assuming that Congress had comprehensively won the Karnataka elections and has successfully staved off an unjust attempt by the BJP to get to power through the backdoor.

    Let's just take a deep breath and step back from the moment. the fact remains that Congress went into the elections on its own, called JD(S) the 'B team' of BJP, finished second in the race by a considerable margin and then cobbled up a post-facto alliance by issuing a carte blanche and the chief minister's post to third-placed JD(S). To the extent that it showed nimbleness in staking claim and keeping its flock together to eventually foil BS Yeddyurappa's bid, the Congress has done well. But the hard fact is that Congress has now lost two successive elections under Rahul's stewardship.

    In Gujarat, it failed to win despite strong anti-incumbency sentiments and in Karnataka it failed to win elections despite a lack of anti-incumbency sentiments. Rahul Gandhi was absent from negotiations with the JD(S), he went incommunicado when the BJP emerged victorious and he did not lead from the front during the entire time leading to the floor test day. It is only when Yeddyurappa stepped down did Rahul emerge into prominence and claimed credit for grabbing power. It of course must count among his credits that he continues to be talked up by the media despite leading one defeat after another, and nary a question is raised against his leadership deficiencies. By some odd sleight of hand, despite emerging as the single largest party, it is the BJP which carries the cross of defeat in public narrative.

  • 18:45 (IST)

    Nirupam's statement shows Congress' attitutde towards India's institutions, says Prakash Javadekar

    "Congress does not respect institutions and this statement is just an evidence of that. Is this how they show respect towards the post of the Governor?," Javadekar said reacting to Sanjay Nirupam's statement about the governor. 

  • 18:41 (IST)

    Sanjay Nirupam insults office of governor, compares Vaju Bhai to a dog

  • 18:29 (IST)

    'Alliance without ideology won't work,' Prakash Javadekar on Rahul's comments about uniting Opposition

    "In a democracy, everyone has a right to form an alliance. But an alliance which is forged on jealousy and negativity against just one person can never succeed. People don't accept alliances which are not formed on ideological similarities," Javadekar said.   

  • 18:21 (IST)

    JD(S), Congress most opportunistic alliance, based on surrender deal, says Prakash Javadekar 

    "It’s a surrender deal, Cong and JD(S) were abusing each other. Rahul on the record made derogatory remarks about Deve Gowda. This is the most opportunistic alliance ever," Javadekar said. 

    He said that this alliance is a 'surrender deal' as it has been forged on the promise that they will not probe Congress' corruption. "JD(S) in its campaign said it will probe the corruption under the Congress government. Now I challenge them but I know not even one file will be opened," Javadekar said. 

  • 18:17 (IST)

    Congress respects SC selectively, says Prakash Javadekar 

    "Congress wants to impeach CJI, and when they need they go to SC, they praise the court, when the court gives judgment in their favour (Congress), they say they do not have faith on EC," Prakash Javadekar said. 

  • 18:16 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi's comments laughable, says Prakash Javadekar

    Javadekar said that Rahul Gandhi's statement is laughable as it is not the Congress which defeated BJP. "Our seats went to 104 from 40, their seats came down. You decide who defeated whom," Javadekar said. 

    He said that the Congress president should remember what his party did in the election, right from fake CDs to fake voter ID cards. 

  • 18:07 (IST)

    BSY wouldn't have resigned if BJP did horse-trading 

    "If we were doing horse-trading, we needed only seven MLAs. But we didn't do any such thing that is why we resigned no," Javadekar argued. He said that it was the Congress and the JD(S) which held their MLAs captive in resorts and did not even let them contact their families or watch news. 

  • 18:05 (IST)

    By tendering resignation BSY showed how mandate and democracy is defeated: Prakash Javadekar

    "Yeddyurappa ji, through his speech, showed how democracy is respected. With his speech, he touched many hearts in Karnataka. However, the Congress on the other hand, instead of praising him was alleging that we were doing horse-trading," Javadekar said. 

  • 18:03 (IST)

    Governor was operating on instructions from Delhi, says Kapil Sibal

    "I credit Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and the entire Congress party for this win in Karnataka. The Governor should not have taken instructions from PM Modi and Amit Shah. He should have respected the honor of his office," Kapil Sibal said. 

  • 18:02 (IST)

    BSY episode big blow for BJP, says Mayawati

    "This is a big blow for BJP. What they had been planning all along for 2019 has failed, they will now have to rethink and alter their strategies," Mayawati said after BS Yeddyurappa tendered his resignation without facing the floor test. 

  • 17:58 (IST)

    BJP's BS Yeddyurappa submits resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala

  • 17:56 (IST)

    Shiv Sena demands Governor Vajubhai Vala's resignation

    BJP ally Shiv Sena demanded Governor Vajubhai Vala's resignation after the BJP was forced to step back in the state of Karnataka. Speaking to CNN-News18, party's spokesperson Manisha Kayande said that the BJP must take a lesson and reflect on its conduct in the past few days. She said that the governor acted in a suspicious way and should resign from his office. 

    Kayande also said that the BJP should have stepped aside on day one and would have sat in the opposition keeping the Congress, JD(S) alliance on their toes. She said it would have saved the party much embarrassment and earned it people's sympathy. 

  • 17:27 (IST)

    PM Modi, Amit Shah misusing office of governor to grab power: Mayawati

    Reacting after BS Yeddyurappa's resignation, BSP Supremo hailed the Supreme Court for upholding democracy as she said that the governor's office was under huge pressure form Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. She said that the party had blatantly used the constitutional office of the governor to usurp power in the state. 

  • 17:16 (IST)

    BJP's lust for power completely exposed, says Arvind Kejriwal

  • 17:09 (IST)

    Five takeaways from BJP's defeat as BS Yeddyurappa signs out in tears

    As was being speculated, BS Yeddyurappa skipped the floor test because it had become obvious that BJP doesn't have the numbers. His tearful, emotional speech on the floor of the House and his resignation as Karnataka chief minister was a stark contrast to the triumphalism from Congress camp. The grand old party could be forgiven for feeling that it had pulled off a major victory. After all, victories have been hard to come by for it of late. The Congress can draw several positives from the victory.

    • One, it gets to remain in power in Karnataka even though it finished second-best to the BJP in polls.
    • Two, it has shown remarkable chutzpah and organisational strength in keeping the flock together under tremendous pressure.
    • Three, the formation of a JD(S)-Congress government with JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy taking over as the chief minister gives the Opposition a 'Karnataka Model' which it may try to replicate in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
    • Four, the Congress proved that when it comes to statecraft, it can be equally competitive. In the end the BJP was clearly trying to cut its losses.
    • Five, the developments leading up to the aborted floor test will give Congress enough ammo against the BJP in upcoming Assembly elections in several states where it is in a straight fight with the saffron unit.

  • 17:04 (IST)

    Prime Minister not bigger than India, says Rahul Gandhi

    "Today it has been proved that the country's institutions are bigger which murder accused Amit Shah should realise... And my message to the prime minister will also be that he should understand that he is not bigger than India, he is not bigger than the institutions of this country, that he is not bigger than our democracy. But I do not think he will understand this as he has been schooled all his life in the RSS ideology, which teaches him not to take any institution more seriously than the RSS," Rahul said.  

  • 16:59 (IST)

    Prime Minister openly authorised horse-trading, he is himself corruption

    "You would have seen that there are audio recordings of how BJP was trying to purchase our MLAs. And this was directly sanctioned from New Delhi. This showed how the prime minister was openly sanctioning this," Rahul said. 

    He said, "This shows that all the anti-corruption talk by Prime Minister Modi is a blatant lie. This shows that he is corruption." 

  • 16:55 (IST)

    There are limits to your arrogance, Rahul Gandhi tells BJP

    Speaking to the media, Rahul said that he would like to give his best wishes the people of Karnataka and JD(S) and Congress party workers. "I would like to congratulate the people, because we need to tell them that there are limits to your arrogance. There are limits to how you can run this country," Rahul said. 

  • 16:52 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi says BJP legislators, MLAs filed out without waiting for National Anthem

    "Did you notice that after the entire exercise in the Vidhan Soudha in Karnataka, the BJP legislators and the Speaker chose to get up and leave the House before the National Anthem," Rahul said.

    "And in a way this is what we are fighting today - that you can rubbish any institution and walk out," Rahul said. 

  • 16:50 (IST)

    When will governor Vajubhai Vala resign, asks Patidar leader Hardik Patel

  • 16:48 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi's press conference begins

  • 16:45 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi to address media shortly 

  • 16:44 (IST)

    Celebration's break out at KPCC office in Bengaluru

    Image by Y Maheshwara Reddy/101Reporters

  • 16:37 (IST)

    Historic day in the history of Indian politics, says Siddaramaiah

    ​"Today is a historic day in Indian politics. BS Yeddyurappa in Vidhan Soudha agreed to do a floor test. He couldn't do it. This is a victory of democracy. There was immense pressure on the Governor by the central government. The Governor's decision was a blot on Indian democracy. We should respect the people's mandate. It is a responsibility of all politicians and democratic heads. PM Modi and his ministers are working against the democracy," says former chief minister Siddaramaiah.

  • 16:33 (IST)

    'Hall of Shame', tweets Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad 

  • 16:30 (IST)

    'When the puppeteers fail, the puppet falls and breaks,' Chidamabaram's swipe on BSY, Amit Shah and Modi

  • 16:29 (IST)

    Governor must invite us now: DK Shivakumar on BSY's resignation

    Speaking to CNN-News18, after BS Yeddyurappa's resignation Congress leader DK Shivakumar said that he is a humble Congres worker and nothing else. Speaking on the next course of action, he said that now the governor has to invite them to form the government.   

  • 16:25 (IST)

    ​'Democracy has been saved, says Dinesh Gundu Rao of Congress

    "Today, democracy has been saved. What Governor should have done earlier, should do now. He should invite us to form government," Dinesh Gundu Rao of the Congerss party said. 

  • 16:22 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi to address media at 4.30 pm; BJP's presser scheduled at 6.00 pm 


Karnataka Assembly floor test LIVE updates: With BS Yeddyurappa out of their way, Congress and JD(S) have started working out the modalities of their alliance. NDTV reported that the two parties have agreed that the deputy chief minister will be elected from the Congress party and most likely it will be G Parameshwara. JDS leader and Chief Minister-designate HD Kumaraswamy confirmed that the swearing-in is scheduled for 21 May between 12.30 and 1 pm. Kumaraswamy further said that the Congress-JDS leaders will meet on Saturday at around 8.30 pm to discuss the modalities of the merger and forming the new government. "Senior Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot and opposition leaders Mamata Banerjee, KCR, Chandrababu Naidu, Mayawati, Sharad Pawar and Akhilesh Yadav have been invited for the gala celebrations," Kumaraswamy told the press on Saturday evening. Governor Vajubhai Vala invited Kumaraswamy to form the government and prove his majority in the House.

Newly-appointed Chief Minister of Karnataka BS Yeddyurappa has resigned from the post which was given to him just two days ago. He submitted the resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala at the Raj Bhavan.

BS Yeddyurappa attacked the Congress-JDS alliance in his speech ahead of the crucial floor test and ended it by resigning at the Karnataka chief minister. After making the announcement BS Yeddyurappa went on to meet and shake hands with JDS chief Deve Gowda and senior Congress leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad. JDS-Congress MLAs immediately started flashing the victory sign and celebrating inside the house. The JDS and Congress leaders announced that they are now waiting for the Governor to call them.

During his speech, Yeddyurappa was briefly interrupted by former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah who asked the former to move the trust motion while BS Yeddyurappa went on with his attacks. He said, "I don't do party politics. I do people's politics." Yeddyurappa also said, "My only aim to form the government was to serve the farmers and Dalits who were suffering." Yeddyurappa had earlier spoken to BJP president Amit Shah over phone amid speculation of his resignation. Meanwhile, Congress MLAs Anand Singh and Pratap Gouda Patil, who had been incommunicado for a while and missed the oath-taking ceremony in the Assembly, have now come back in the Assembly. The Assembly session began on Saturday morning with pro tem Speaker Bopaiah administering the oath to all newly-elected MLAs.

Several reactions poured in following Yeddyurappa's resignation. While former chief minister Siddaramaiah tweeted saying 'democracy has won', Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted a scathing message, saying:  "Poor Mr Yeddyurappa. When the puppeteers fail, the puppet falls and breaks." West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also touted it as a win for the regional front: "Democracy wins. Congratulations Karnataka. Congratulations DeveGowda Ji, Kumaraswamy Ji, Congress and others. Victory of the 'regional' front."

HD Kumaraswamy, the chief minister candidate of the Congress-JDS combine, said that they are waiting for an invitation from the Governor's House to take oath as the new Karnataka chief minister. Earlier, Yeddyurappa began his speech in Vidhan Soudha and slammed the 'unholy alliance' between the JDS and the Congress. The chief minister had earlier spoken to BJP president Amit Shah over phone amid speculation of his resignation before the floor test. Congress MLAs Anand Singh and Pratap Gouda Patil, who had been incommunicado for a while and missed the oath-taking ceremony in the Assembly, are now back in the Assembly.

The stage is set for the floor test in Karnataka Assembly to test the strength of the two-day-old BS Yeddyurappa government amid allegations of poaching and horse-trading. The floor test will be overseen by pro tem speaker KG Bopaiah after the Supreme Court dismissed a Congress petition against his appointment and ordered live telecast of the proceedings. Sources said the floor test will be conducted via a show of hands. The Assembly session began on Saturday morning with Bopaiah administering the oath to all newly elected MLAs.

Following reports that BS Yeddyurappa might resign if he does not have enough numbers to prove majority, Congerss' DK Shivakumar exuded confidence that his party will soon come to power. "I am sure he will resign before the trust vote," he said.

Meanwhile, the Congress has released another audio tape, this time alleging that BS Yeddyurappa offered ministerial post to MLA BC Patil.

Meanwhile, Congress MLAs Anand Singh and Pratap Gowda Patil have been allegedly kept captive in Gold Finch Hotel in Bengaluru. Additional Commissioner Seemanth Kumar Singh along with his team are leaving for the hotel, the report said.

Congress leader Veerapa Moily said that BJP will be "exposed" to the whole world. "They (BJP) know very well that they are 104. Still they are trying everything and anything to buy our MLAs. But, our MLAs are intact.

The Supreme Court, earlier on Saturday, turned down Congress and JD(S)' plea against the appointment of KG Bopaiah as the pro tem Speaker KG Bopaiah. However, it allowed the live telecast of the trust vote.

Ahead of the trust vote, JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy said that it wasn't an important day for him. "The important days will come in future. Till 4 pm, BJP will try to poach our MLAs. All the MLAs are together; no one is going to go to the other side," he said.

Ramalinga Reddy claimed that Congress MLA will defy the party whip during the trust vote on Saturday. "Physically he is not with us, but he is in contact with our leaders... He will definitely vote for us" he said.

Chief Minister BS Yeddyrappa, who will be facing the floor test on Saturday, has reached Shangri-La Hotel for the BJP legislature meeting. Appearing confident, BS Yeddyurappa urged his supporters to stay calm and said that they would be celebrating at 5 pm.

Buses carrying Congress MLAs reached Hilton Hotel in Bengaluru ahead of their oath-taking ceremony and the floor test in Karnataka Assembly.

The Supreme Court directive on Friday to hold a floor test in the Karnataka Assembly on Saturday led to heightened political activity in the state, with the Congress-JD(S) post-poll alliance sure of Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa losing the battle and the BJP sounding confident to sail through.

The Supreme Court had in its Thursday morning order rejected Yeddyurappa's plea, made through senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, asking for at least a week's time to face the floor test, and directed it to be conducted on Saturday instead.

A bench of Justice AK Sikri, Justice SA Bobde and Justice Ashok Bhushan on Friday said the pro tem Speaker, conventionally the senior-most member of the Assembly, would administer the newly-elected members their oath and then conduct the floor test.

The court junked Attorney General KK Venugopal's suggestion that the floor test be conducted through secret ballot. The court also barred Yeddyurappa from taking any policy decisions till the floor test.

 Karnataka govt formation updates: With BSY out of way, JD(S)-Congress discuss Cabinet berths, modalities of alliance

File image of BS Yeddyurappa. PTI

On Friday evening, the confrontation between the two sides once again reached the Supreme Court, with the Congress claiming that the appointment of BJP legislator KG Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker by the Governor "violates every single constitutional norm" of senior-most member being appointed to the post.

Yeddyurappa was on Thursday morning sworn-in as the chief minister after the 12 May election threw up a hung Assembly. The BJP won 104 of the 222 seats, falling eight short of the 112-halfway mark. The Congress bagged 78 seats and the JD(S) 37.

The court also restrained the chief minister from nominating an Anglo-Indian member. Following the apex court order, Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru that he was confident of proving his majority in the House. "We welcome the Supreme Court order of floor test at 4 pm on Saturday. We are confident of proving our majority," he said. Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, who was election in-charge of the BJP in Karnataka, also expressed similar confidence.

On the other hand, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the BJP's "bluff" has been called. "The BJP's bluff that it will form the government, even without the numbers, has been called by the court. Stopped legally, they will now try money and muscle, to steal the mandate," he tweeted.  Congress communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters in Delhi that they will bring the matter of Bopaiah's appointment before the court.

He said Congress member RV Deshpande was the senior-most member of the House.

Bopaiah, 62, is a three-time legislator. He was speaker during the BJP rule in the state from 2008-13. Surjewala said Bopaiah has been indicted by the apex court. "People of Karnataka are determined to foil and defeat these evil and nefarious designs of Governor Vajubhai Vala, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah," he said. Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the BJP will be defeated in floor test and that Yeddyurappa had exhibited "desperation" in becoming the chief minister. Singhvi referred to Venugopal's suggestion and took a dig at the Modi government, saying that trust vote is never conducted through secret ballot.

However, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused the Congress of "murdering the mandate" in Karnataka after being "rejected" by the people of state with its numbers coming down from 122 to 78.

"The Congress has welcomed the Supreme Court's decision. Some days back they had questioned the Supreme Court verdict in the case of judge Loya's death. They even tried to impeach the CJI," he said. Patra said both "prayers" of the Congress to the apex court to quash Governor's decision to invite the BJP to form government and to invite the Congress-JD-S instead have been rejected. "Yet the Congress is claiming victory, like Rahul Gandhi had claimed 'moral victory' after defeat in Gujarat elections," he said.

Meanwhile, both Congress and JD(S) leaders said they had shifted legislators to Hyderabad to prevent the BJP from "poaching" them.

In Bengaluru, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said it is surprising that the Congress and the JD(S), which together have the support of 117 legislators including two Independents, were not invited to form a government by the governor.

Siddaramaiah held a crucial meeting with newly-elected Congress MLAs in Hyderabad to discuss the strategy to be adopted during the floor test.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: May 19, 2018 22:31:58 IST