Supreme Court judges questioned “Why give 15 days to prove majority?
New Delhi/Bengaluru:MNN: B S Yeddyurappa to prove majority in next 15 days.
BS Yeddyurappa has taken oath as the 23rd Chief Minister of Karnataka, after the Supreme Court said it will not intervene in the decision of the governor to invite the BJP to form government.
In a midnight meeting on Wednesday night, the apex court decided that BS Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in ceremony will go ahead as planned, but it will hear the case again on Friday.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who urged the Supreme Court to hold BS Yeddyurappa’s oath ceremony in an all-night hearing, called 15 days “licence to poaching” legislators.
Also claimed Mr BS Yeddyurappa had asked for seven days.
“There is only one way a party which got 104 will get 113… Elementary common sense and arithmetic against this kind of giving of time,” Mr Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
Many have echoed the view on social media, alleging that 15 days is “generous” for anyone trying to “buy” a majority.
In 1998, Congress’ Jagdambika Pal got three days to prove his majority in the Uttar Pradesh assembly.
In 2005, Shibu Soren initially got 19 days but the Supreme Court reduced that time.
Last year, the BJP got four days to prove its majority in Goa, where the Congress emerged the largest party but failed to take power.
In the pre-dawn hearing yesterday, three Supreme Court judges questioned: “Why give 15 days to prove majority?”
The centre’s top lawyer said, “time to prove majority can be reduced to seven days.”
The Congress and the JDS, who had also staked claim to power declaring a combined strength of 116, are preparing to “protect” their flock for two weeks.
Last evening, Congress legislators were moved into Eagleton Resorts near Bengaluru, a private property that last year hosted Gujarat Congress MLAs.
The party has now decided to fly them out of Karnataka, to a resort in Kerala.
The JDS MLA had been put up at the Shangrila last night.
They are also being taken out of Karnataka by the party, for good measure, say leaders.
The Congress has targeted the governor over the 15-day time.
“Governor invites BS Yeddyurappa to manufacture a majority in 15 days.
Governor gives Mr Yeddyurappa 15 days to convert the number 104 into 111,” tweeted P Chidambaram, a senior leader, after the BJP put out a copy of the governor’s letter.
Karnataka poll results: BS Yeddyurappa is chief minister, but history has lessons for leaders without numbers
A bench of Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan also asked that the letter given by BS Yeddyurappa and senior BJP leaders to the governor, in which it was stated that the party has the requisite number of MLAs to form government, be produced before the court.
The court also refused to modify Governor Vajubhai Vala’s 15-day window to the BJP to prove its majority.
If BS Yeddyurappa doesn’t manage to retain power beyond the window offered, it could be the second time that the Lingayat strongman is forced to step down after an all-too-brief stint as chief minister.
Back in November 2007, Yeddyurappa enjoyed a seven-day tenure as chief minister.
But even that, incidentally, is not the shortest chief ministerial tenure in Independent India. Here’s a list of the shortest tenure in office:
Jagdambika Pal (Two days): On 21 February, 1998, Jagdambika Pal took oath of office as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh after the Kalyan Singh government was dismissed by then governor Romesh Bhandari.
Jagdambika Pal was given until 24 February to prove his majority in the state Assembly.
The very next day, however, the Allahabad High Court stayed the decision of the governor, and the Supreme Court decided that the Assembly be summoned for the purposes of holding a vote in order to determine if Pal or his predecessor Kalyan Singh enjoyed the majority.
Kalyan Singh and Jagdambika Pal were seated on either side of the Speaker in the Vidhan Sabha, while the legislators voted for their choice of chief minister.
Kalyan Singh won by an easy majority, and on 23 February, 1998, the High Court reinstated the Kalyan government.
Jagdambika Pal’s chief minister tenure lasted less than 48 hours, a record that stands till today, over 20 years later.