Turmoil in Karnataka, updates from May 18: Congress, BJP trade blows as crucial floor-test beckons

Congress released an audio clip in which the party claims BJP is trying to lure its MLAs with money ahead of a crucial floor-test in Karnataka Assembly - scheduled for May 19.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 14:42

NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: Though Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislative party leader BS Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the 23rd chief minister of Karnataka on Thursday, his fate still hangs in the balance. The three-judge special bench of the Supreme Court Friday directed that a Protem Speaker should be nominated by Friday 4 pm and Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa has been directed to seek a trust vote at 4 pm on Saturday. (Read live updates from Karnataka floor test on May 19

Read how SC rejected the Congress-JDS plea to on removal of Protem Speaker. 

The apex court bench of Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan resumed the hearing on a petition filed by the Congress-Janata Dal Secular (JDS) combine challenging Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision to invite the BJP to form government in the state.

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

Yeddyurappa placed before the Supreme Court letters he had sent to Governor Vala in which he had staked claim to form the government in Karnataka. Yeddyurappa, who was sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka on Thursday, told the court that being the single largest party the BJP was the "mandate of people" of the state who have thrown out the Congress.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Yeddyurappa, told the bench that there was no pre-poll alliance between the Congress and JDS and they have formed an "unholy alliance" after the elections.

In a historic pre-dawn hearing, the top court had on Thursday cleared the last-minute hurdle created by the Congress-JDS combine for the BJP's ambitious surge in southern India by paving the way for Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Here are the highlights from Karnataka from Friday, May 18.

18 May 2018, 23:50 PM

JDS MLAs have boarded a plane from Hyderabad and will reach Bengaluru post midnight between Friday and Saturday.

18 May 2018, 22:04 PM

Supreme Court to hear Congress' plea regarding the appointment of pro tem speaker of BJP MLA at 10:30 am on Saturday.

18 May 2018, 21:41 PM

18 May 2018, 21:41 PM

JD(S) & Congress have jointly given list of 118 MLAs to Governor. We've sufficient strength to form Govt in #Karnataka. This morning Supreme Court has given judgement on Governor's decision. For past 2 days, BJP is trying to by the MLAs of the opposition: HD Kumaraswamy

18 May 2018, 21:40 PM

Two MLAs have been hijacked by our BJP friends. But, I am certain that they will come back to us: HD Kumaraswamy, JDS

18 May 2018, 21:40 PM

The Congress-JDS writ petition claims that the appointment of pro-tem speaker was completely unconstitutional.

18 May 2018, 20:34 PM

Congress lawyers reach Supreme Court, seek urgent hearing on appointment of Bopaiah as Protem Speaker of Karnataka Assembly: News agency ANI

18 May 2018, 20:07 PM

BS Yeddyurappa once again claims he has the support of several Congress and JDS MLAs. "Of course. How else will we prove majority? We will win floor test 101%."

18 May 2018, 20:04 PM

Congress releases audio clip in which, the party claims, Janaradhana Reddy can be heard trying to lure a Congress MLA from Raichur Rural by offering money. BJP's Prakash Javadekar has rubbished the allgeation.

18 May 2018, 19:19 PM

News agency ANI reports Congress MLAs have just left Taj Krishna Hotel in Hyderabad for Bengaluru.

18 May 2018, 18:12 PM

Congress is set to appeal decision to appoint Bopaiah as Protem Speaker. Sources tell Zee News that several party leaders at registry office to get petition listed. CJI may have to constitute a new bench.

18 May 2018, 18:07 PM

Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah reaches Hyderabad hotel where Congress MLAs are currently at. Rajshekar Patil, one of the MLAs here, says there is no pressure on anyone and that they would be leaving for Bengaluru shortly.

18 May 2018, 16:14 PM

Congress has lashed out against the decision of nominating KG Bopaiah as Protem Speaker. The party has said norms and conventions have been flouted in not naming the senior-most MLA as speaker of the house.

18 May 2018, 16:12 PM

Did you know? Bopaiah was the Protem Speaker before trust-vote in Karnataka Assembly in 2009 as well. (Read full profile here)

18 May 2018, 15:47 PM

Karnataka Governor has nominated BJP MLA KG Bopaiah as pro tem speaker for the crucial trust-vote tomorrow.

18 May 2018, 14:18 PM

GT Devegowda, JDS: Rs 100 crore or Rs 200 crore, our MLAs are with us. None of our members are going away. Today, evening or tomorrow early morning, we all are leaving for Bengaluru. 

18 May 2018, 13:26 PM

The Congress has accused the Narendra Modi government of taking its MLA hostage. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad claimed that party MLA Anand Singh has been taken hostage by the BJP. Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah also claimed that administering oath to Yeddyurappa was unconstitutional. "Yeddyurappa who has 104 MLAs including himself, in the letter requested for 7 days. He had no other name, yet Governor invited him. It was unconstitutional, Governor even gave him 15 days time," Siddaramaiah said.

18 May 2018, 12:40 PM

Congress president Rahul Gandhi welcomed the SC order and said: "Today's Supreme Court order, vindicates our stand that Governor Vala acted unconstitutionally. The BJP’s bluff that it will form the Govt., even without the numbers, has been called out by the court. Stopped legally, they will now try money & muscle, to steal the mandate."

18 May 2018, 12:38 PM

Highlights of what happened in court today:

1 Floor test will be conducted at 4 pm on Saturday

2. A Protem Speaker needs to be appointed today and will decide how the test will be conducted

3. The SC rejected government's request for a secret ballot

4. The government shall not nominate the Anglo Indian Representative till a floor test is held

5. The government led by BS Yeddyurappa cannot take any major policy decisions till the floor test is held

18 May 2018, 12:13 PM

BS Yeddyurappa: We have been told that we need to prove the majority in the House. We will follow the SC order and hold the floor test

18 May 2018, 12:11 PM

BJP's Prakash Javadekar: We are sure that we will be able to prove majority on the floor of the House. 

18 May 2018, 12:02 PM

Abhishek Manu Singhvi: The SC has given a historic interim order. The court ordered that the floor test will be held conducted by a Protem Speaker. Yeddyurappa's request for more time has been rejected by the court. The court has also agreed to hear our plea on what procedure as per the law should the Governor follow in taking a decision when no party has a complete majority. The SC also said that before the floor test the government cannot nominate the Anglo-Indian member to the House. 

18 May 2018, 11:49 AM

AG KK Venugopal had suggested that floor test be held by secret ballot but the Supreme Court has rejected the suggestion. The court has said that the Protem Speaker must be appointed by today evening at 4 pm. The court said that the Protem Speaker will decide the manner in which the floor test should be held.

18 May 2018, 11:43 AM

Arguing for more time, Mukul Rohatgi had told court to fix floor test to be held on Monday at least and not on Saturday. Rohatgi had told them that the Congress and JDS MLAs are locked up outside the state and hence need time to come back to the state to vote.

18 May 2018, 11:39 AM

Supreme Court has stayed the Congress-JDS's plea challenging Karnataka Governor's decision to nominate an Anglo-Indian MLA to the Assembly.

18 May 2018, 11:36 AM

Rejecting AG's argument seeking more time, the Supreme Court has ordered the floor test to be held on Saturday at 4 pm. 

18 May 2018, 11:31 AM

While the Congress-JDS have agreed to have a floor test on Saturday, Mukul Rohtagi said that the trust vote should not be held so soon.

18 May 2018, 11:22 AM

The Congress has demanded in court that the entire proceedings of the floor test should be videographed to ensure proper security to MLAs so that they are able to vote fearlessly. SC admitted the request and said that it will direct the Karnataka DGP to ensure security and make proper arrangement for floor test on Saturday.

18 May 2018, 11:19 AM

Abhishek Manu Singhvi asked in court whether a claim by the BJP that it has a majority to stake claim to form government needs some specific evidence or not. "is an assertion that give me a chance I will manufacture majority enough," he asked in court. Singhvi has submitted to Supreme Court that Congress-JDS are ready for floor test on Saturday.

18 May 2018, 11:17 AM

Justice Sikri said that on one side, Congress-JDS had given a letter with proven majority and on the other side, Yeddyurappa has claimed that he has a majority so on what ground did the Governor opt him over the alliance. Mukul Rohatgi replied saying it is the discretion of the Governor on who should be called first taking into account who will form a stable government. Rohatgi also said that the letter by Congress-JDS does not show signs of each and every MLA declaring its support to the post-poll alliance.

18 May 2018, 11:13 AM

The SC bench said that a floor test is the best option at the moment, let the larger question on the law on how should a Governor invite a person to form the government be settled later in court

18 May 2018, 11:11 AM

The Supreme Court has asked Yeddyurappa to hold trust vote on Saturday to prove majority on the floor of the House. However, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is representing the Congress, said the Court must decide who is entitled to get the first chance.

18 May 2018, 11:03 AM

Justice Sikri said in court that numbers and mandate are most important when it comes to government formation and the Governor needs to take this into account. The SC has ordered that a floor test should be held soon to prove majority.

18 May 2018, 10:56 AM

Speaking in court, Mukul Rohatgi said that the Congress-JDS is an unholy alliance. He also added that there was no need for Yeddyurappa to give names of all MLAs to Governor as he is ready to prove majority on the floor of the House.

18 May 2018, 10:54 AM

Congress leader DK Shivakumar said that the BJP is trying to poach MLAs by "using various government agencies". To prevent the BJP from getting the numbers on its side, the Congress and the JDS have taken its MLAs to Hyderabad.  

18 May 2018, 10:52 AM

The letter handed over to the court by Mukul Rohatgi also state that Yeddyurappa has been elected as the leader of the largest party, BJP and has the necessary support of MLAs. The letter states that the BJP is ready to prove its majority on the floor of the House.

18 May 2018, 10:50 AM

Mukul Rohatgi told court on Friday that as there was no pre-poll alliance between the Congress and the JDS, the BJP can form the government as it is the single largest party in the elections. Rohatgi has also reportedly presented Yeddyurappa's letter to the Governor in court. 

18 May 2018, 10:47 AM

Congress free to take its MLAs even to Pakistan: BJP

Confident of having numbers on its side, the BJP leader Sadananda Gowda said the Congress has a right to take its MLAs anywhere, even to Pakistan. "Certainly BJP has the numbers, without that how can we form the govt? It is their right, no? They can take them anywhere, even to Pakistan," he said.

18 May 2018, 10:36 AM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday gave a call to former PM HD Deve Gowda to wish him on his birthday. The phone call comes at a time when the BJP is fighting against the Congress-Janata Dal Secular combine to form government in Karnataka. 

18 May 2018, 10:36 AM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday gave a call to former PM HD Deve Gowda to wish him on his birthday. The phone call comes at a time when the BJP is fighting against the Congress-Janata Dal Secular combine to form government in Karnataka. 

18 May 2018, 10:34 AM

Even as the hearing on the political tussle has begun in SC, the Karnataka Congress MLAs have arrived at Hyderabad's Taj Krishna Hotel. Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) head Uttam Kumar Reddy is also present at the hotel.

18 May 2018, 10:31 AM

Mukul Rohatgi who is representing the BJP government in court, said that the party has the numbers. "We'll show the CM's letter to Court, it shows he has support & support will be shown in the house. There is no issue of horse-trading, it is the other way, as MLAs have been taken to resorts," he said. 

18 May 2018, 10:13 AM

PM Modi speaks to HD Deve Gowda of JDS, conveys birthday wishes to him.


18 May 2018, 10:11 AM

Karnataka BJP leaders have categorically denied the horse-trading charges and said that their leader will comfortably prove majority in the assembly.  


18 May 2018, 10:10 AM

Congress MP from Karnataka, DK Suresh, confirms that his party MLAs are coming to Hyderabad and all arrangements are made accordingly. 


18 May 2018, 09:36 AM

The apex court will hear senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani's petition to have an urgent hearing on the Karnataka government crisis.

18 May 2018, 08:49 AM

I'm definite they (Karnataka JDS MLAs) aren't coming by flight so I'm moving to Kurnool. Not sure about destination if they come here, they're welcome. I was expecting them yesterday but Civil Aviation Dept didn't give permission to the charter flight, says Thomas, Kerala JD(S) MLA and Minister.


18 May 2018, 08:47 AM

Two Congress MLAs - Anand Singh and Pratapgouda Patil - have reportedly gone missing, keeping the Congress and the JD (S) on the edge.

18 May 2018, 08:10 AM

Both JDS and Congress have shifted their newly-elected MLAs to 'safe locations' to prevent horse-trading from BJP, say reports.

18 May 2018, 07:51 AM

JDS, Congress MLAs to stay united at the same place, says HD Kumaraswamy