Karnataka political crisis: BS Yeddyurappa to show letters of support as SC takes up Congress petition

The three-judge special bench of the Supreme Court will on Friday decide the fate of  BS Yeddyurappa who has been asked to show the letters of support given by him to the state's Governor ahead of his swearing-in.

Karnataka political crisis: BS Yeddyurappa to show letters of support as SC takes up Congress petition

NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: Though BJP legislative party leader BS Yeddyurappa has been sworn in as the 23rd chief minister of Karnataka, his fate still hangs in the balance. The three-judge special bench of the Supreme Court will on Friday decide the fate of  BS Yeddyurappa who has been asked to show the letters of support given by him to the state's Governor ahead of his swearing-in ceremony.

The apex court bench of Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, which gave the Attorney General 48 hours to produce the two letters written by the newly sworn-in Karnataka Chief Minister to the Governor staking his claim to form a government, will resume hearing on a petition filed by the Congress seeking a stay on Yeddyurappa's swearing-in. 

The top law officer of the country has been given time to procure the documents from the Governor and produce them before the court on May 18 at 10.30 am.

The letters, dated May 15 and May 16, are the major focus of the Governor’s invitation on May 16 evening to Yeddyurappa to form a government the next morning itself.

The three-judge, which conducted an unprecedented overnight haring on Congress and Janata Dal-Secular petition on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday, wants to vet the contents of the letters - basically to check whether the Governor’s decision to invite Yeddyurappa was an informed one.

The top court bench is also likely to get into the issue of the 15 days time given by the Governor to Yeddyurappa to prove his majority on the floor of the house. The Congress-JD(S) combine has argued that the long window will be misused by BJP to trigger defections from rival parties and engineer a majority in the assembly.

Interestingly, former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for BJP in the midnight hearing, was open to the idea of the deadline being reduced to a week or so.

Amid high drama, BJP legislature party leader BS Yeddyurappa was on Thursday morning sworn in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka following an overnight high-voltage legal battle in the Supreme Court.

The 75-year-old Lingayat strongman was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Vajubhai Vala at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan amid loud cheering by his supporters.

Yeddyurappa was administered the oath alone, hours after the Supreme Court refused to stay his swearing-in. Yeddyurappa has been given 15 days to prove his majority in the Assembly.

The BJP has 104 MLAs in the House, eight short of the magic figure of 112.

The Congress (78) and the JD(S) (38) had joined hands after the election and staked claim to form the government. 

Meanwhile, the Congress has said that it would observe 'Save Democracy Day' across the country on Friday in protest against Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision to "illegally" invite BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa to form the government in the state. The party late on Thursday put all its MLAs lodged in a resort outside Bengaluru en route an undisclosed location.

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