BJP leader and Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa will be taking a floor test at 4 PM to prove his strength amid a massive jostling between the two sides – BJP and Congress-JD(S) combine. The floor test was ordered by Supreme Court on Friday, advancing it by 13 days after governor had given Yeddyurappa 15 days to prove his numbers.
A special session of the Karnataka Assembly began this morning, which will only transact one business of a floor test, as ordered by the top court. Yeddyurappa took the oath first, followed by Congress Legislature Party leader and his predecessor Siddaramaiah.
BS Yeddyurappa was sworn-in as Chief Minister by Governor Vajubhai Vala after the BJP was invited to form the government given their status as a single largest party with 104 MLAs in a current 222-member house.
The move was strongly opposed by the Congress and JD(S) combine, who challenged it in Supreme Court claiming their collective strength of 116 legislators that is well above the majority mark of 112.
The bench of Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan had said that ultimately the question is about majority which has to be proved in the floor test. The Supreme Court also turned down Yeddyurappa’s request for a secret ballot during the floor test.
Earlier, Congress and JD(S) MLAs who were camping at a hotel in Hyderabad, fearing alleged attempts of poaching by the BJP, came back to the city this morning.
As per the apex court’s directions, the police have made massive security arrangements in and around the Vidhana Soudha, the seat of the state legislature, for the smooth conduct of the floor test.
Public entry to the Vidhana Soudha has been restricted, and officials and staff of the Secretariat are being allowed to enter the premises after thorough checks.
The Congress-JD(S) had also challenged the appointment of BJP MLA KG Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker contending that the governor’s action in appointing “a junior MLA” was “brazenly unconstitutional”.
The plea was, however, rejected by the top court. The court has ordered live telecast of floor test.
(With inputs from PTI)