Supreme Court calls for floor test in Karnataka assembly tomorrow
The Supreme Court today asked the Yeddyurappa-led BJP government to conduct a floor test on Saturday to prove their majority in the Karnataka assembly.
The top court was hearing a petition challenging Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala's invitation to BS Yeddyurappa to become chief minister.
The floor test will take place at 4 pm tomorrow. The Supreme Court also said that oath should be administered to all MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly) before the floor test tomorrow and BS Yeddyurappa cannot take any policy decisions until tomorrow.
"The test will be as per the rules of the house. There will be no secret ballot," the Supreme Court justices said.
Lawyers for BS Yeddyurappa had requested until Monday to be able to prove it has the numbers to form a government. They had also wanted a secret ballot.
The Supreme Court said that the governor had to see which side had the numbers to form the government on the face of a claim of majority support by the single largest party and on the other a written support of majority to the Cong-JDS combine.
Justice Sikri said the best course was for a floor test. "Let there be a floor test and let the House decide," said the Supreme Court judge.
The Congress party said in the top court that there should be videography and proper security to MLAs to enable them vote fearlessly. The Supreme Court said that it would order the Director General of Police to make proper arrangement for floor test on Saturday.
The Supreme Court began the hearing by asking the counsel for letters of support given by BS Yeddyurappa to the governor. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who was representing the BJP-led central government handed over Yeddyurappa's letters to the top court.
Yeddyurappa's letter stated that he had been elected as leader of the largest party, the BJP and that he had the support of the necessary number of lawmakers and was ready to prove it on the floor of House.
The top court observed that BS Yeddyurappa's letter of support did not mention the names of the MLAs who had offered their support.
In the May 12 polls, the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 104 members, while Congress secured 78, the JD(S) 37 and others three.
The BJP insists it should stake claim to form the government by virtue of being the single largest party while the Congress, which has struck a post-poll alliance with the JD(S), says they have more seats, four more than the half-way mark.