Supreme Court orders Karnataka Assembly floor test at 4 pm on Saturday

Attorney General K K Venugopal

A bench of three Justices - AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan - resumed hearing on Congress-Janata Dal Secular (JDS) petition on Friday morning, challenging Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision to invite the BJP to form government in the state.

While the BJP argued that they were the single largest party to be invited first by the Governor, the JD-S and Congress said that 112 is the majority and Congress-JDS combined is at 117. Both camps are working on various permutations and combinations. Elections were held for all but two of the 224 seats. Two seats - RR Nagar and Jayanagar are vacant. The party wins most of the Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti seats and Zila Parishad seats. So, the effective strength of Karnataka Assembly is 221. The floor test has to be conducted at 4 pm tomorrow under a protem speaker. On its own, the BJP falls seven short of the magic number. "This post will be crucial for us", a JD (S) source said.

In a turn of events, the JD (S) and Congress forge a post-poll alliance government. A serious allegation by Congress leaders ahead of floor test in Karnataka. The governor seems to be a willing party for Operation Lotus redux. By extending the BJP's rule to south India, outside the Hindu nationalist party's traditional support bases in northern and western India, gives them much needed momentum for 2019 federal polls.

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala had invited BS Yeddyurappa to form the government following which he was sworn in as the state's chief minister. This will reduce the effective strength of Karnataka Assembly from 221.

As the BJP scrambles to cobble up the numbers, it has one big hurdle to cross before taking the floor test. The question of 15 days for floor test can be decided in the next 2 or 3 days.

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The Congress chief added if the BJP wanted to talk about corruption, it should discuss the Rafale jet deal, BJP chief Amit Shah's son and (Union minister) Piyush Goyal's company.

India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Chief Minister of the southern state of Karnataka B.S. Yeddyurappa leaves to meet the state governor to stake claim to form the government, in Bengaluru, India, May 16, 2018.

Yeddyurappa expressed confidence that he would get the required support for a vote of confidence that the new government would have to pass in the assembly.

This is a grey area. He decides on how the voting is to be conducted, whether a member should be disqualified among other duties.

While BJP now has very little time to prove its majority in the Assembly, Congress and JD (S) are trying hard to keep their flock together. This requires to follow an elaborate procedure. The precedent is that the senior most member of the House is appointed pro-tem Speaker.

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