Karnataka Elections Midnight Drama: SC Pulls a Rare All-Nighter
In the face of the BJP’s inability to cross the half-way mark in the state, the Congress and the JD(S) cobbled together an eleventh-hour alliance.
In the face of the BJP’s inability to cross the half-way mark in the state, the Congress and the JD(S) cobbled together an eleventh-hour alliance.(Photo: Shruti Mathur/The Quint)

Karnataka Elections Midnight Drama: SC Pulls a Rare All-Nighter

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The drama in the Karnataka elections is far from being over with the Supreme Court pulling an all-nighter before allowing the BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as the chief minister on 17 May.

The Congress- JD(S) alliance challenged the Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s invitation to Yeddyurappa to form government, in the apex court.

Snapshotclose

    • SC issues notice to Karnataka govt and Yeddyurappa on the petition
    • Bench also directs letter sent by BJP to Governor be placed before it
    • CM designate Yeddyurappa will take oath on 17 May at 9 am
    • Hours after a delegation from the JD(S)-Congress alliance met the governor, the BJP was invited to form government
    • BJP given 15 days to prove its majority on the floor of the Assembly by the Governor Vajubhai Vala

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Magic Number Is 112 Seats

KEY EVENT

Karnataka Election Results: Trends at 9:00 am

Congress Will Form the Government in Karnataka: Ashok Gehlot

Congress leader Ashok Gehlot is optimistic of forming the government. However, he did not entirely rule out the possibility of forming an alliance with JD(S).

Karnataka Verdict: The Quint Reports From Ground Zero

BJP Celebrates Early Win

BJP workers celebrate outside the counting centre in Karnataka as early trends put the saffron party in a comfortable lead.

KEY EVENT

Karnataka Election Results: Trends at 10:00 am

KEY EVENT

Sensex up as Trends Put BJP in Lead in Karnataka

Indian equity benchmarks were trading on a strong note after the BJP extended its lead over the Congress in Karnataka, BloombergQuint reports.

The S&P BSE Sensex surged 1.18 percent or 417 points to 35,973 and the NSE nifty 50 index climbed 1.09 percent or 117 points to 10,924. The rupee rose to 67.53 against the dollar.

KEY EVENT

No Question of Alliance: Sadananda Gowda

Reacting to the BJP's comfortable lead in the state, former chief minister of Karnataka, Sadananda Gowda told ANI that the saffron party was not interested in alliances.

Trends at 11:00 am

Chhattisgarh CM Hails "Historic Win"

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh congratulates the party for the “historic win” in Karnataka.

Celebrations Begin at BJP's Malleshwaram Office

BJP workers celebrate outside the BJP’s headquarters in Malleshwaram as trends show the saffron party clinching a comfortable lead in Karnataka.

KEY EVENT

Congress-JD(S) Alliance Would've Shown Different Results: Mamata Banerjee

KEY EVENT

Karnataka Election Results: Trends at Noon

BJP Top Brass Celebrates in New Delhi

Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Nirmala Sitharaman celebrate at the BJP headquarters in Delhi.

(Photo: ANI)

Union Ministers congratulate Amit Shah and Prime Minister Modi.

KEY EVENT

BS Yeddyurappa Wins Shikaripura

Not Rahul Gandhi but Local Leadership That Lost: D Shivakumar

Congress leader D Shivakumar says that Rahul Gandhi has worked very hard but it is the local leadership that has failed.

Karnataka Election Results: Trends at 1:10 pm

This is Rahul Gandhi's Third Defeat as Cong Chief: Rajyavardhan Rathore

Siddaramaiah's Son Wins Varuna

KEY EVENT

Siddaramaiah Wins Badami, Loses Chamundeshwari

JD(S) chief HD Kumaraswamy wins Ramanagara and Channapatna

KEY EVENT

Congress-JD(S) to Join Hands?

Even as the BJP has emerged as the single largest party in the Karnataka Assembly polls, sources in the Congress say they have offered support to the JD(S), with HD Kumaraswamy as the CM of the state, reported The News Minute.

Top sources in the Congress confirmed to The News Minute that the offer has already been communicated to the JD(S) and that senior leaders of the party are heading to meet the JD(S) chief.

Congress leaders confident that the BJP might not reach the magic number of 113 all by itself, they have now offered support to the JD(S) to form the government.

Opposition leaders, led by Ghulam Nabi Azad, are likely to meet HD Deve Gowda in the evening.

JD(S) sources however add that HD Kumaraswamy may not be too keen on such an arrangement with the Congress as his party has considerably less number of MLAs than Congress.

However, a source in the party said that party patriarch Deve Gowda will prefer the option of going with the Congress since they could also then bolster their secular image ahead of the 2019 polls.

Who Are the Two Independent Candidates?

Nagesh, an independent candidate, was supported by the Congress after the party’s candidate Manjunath's nomination was rejected on the grounds of discrepancy in caste certificate.

Shankar, the independent candidate from Ranibennuar is from the Kuruba case. He had sought a ticket from BJP and Congress but he was denied, following which he stood as an independent and defeated speaker KB Koliwad.

Karnataka Election Results: Trends at 3.25 pm

KEY EVENT

Governor Not to Meet Any Party Till EC Declares Results

Quoting Governor Vajubhai Vala, ABP News reported that he will not be meeting any political party ‘until results of all seats are officially declared.’

A Congress delegation headed by G Parameshwara, who had gone to the Governor's House, was refused entry and had to turn back. Meanwhile, reports suggest that BS Yeddyurappa is on his way to meet the Governor.

JD(S) Agrees For Alliance With Congress, Swearing-in Ceremony on 18 May

The JD(S) has accepted Congress’ offer of an alliance, asserted party secretary general Danish Ali, adding that the two parties would meet the Governor post 5.30 pm to stake claim to form government. Ali also said that HD Kumaraswamy will takeover as CM.

Meanwhile, speaking to ABP News, JD(S) spokesperson Tanveer Ahmed said that the swearing-in ceremony would take place on 18 May.

BJP Addresses Media Amid Speculation Over Government Formation

Condemning the Congress for indulging in ‘back-door’ politics, BJP’s CM candidate BS Yeddyurappa said:

The people of Karnataka have voted for change, for a Congress-free Karnataka. 

Yeddyurappa further said that the Congress had no right to assume a moral high-ground, while also stating that the ‘anti-Congress wave’ had helped JD(S) fare better than expected.

Incumbent CM Siddaramaiah Resigns

Incumbent Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has submitted his resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala, reported ANI.

KEY EVENT

HD Kumaraswamy Writes to Governor, Seeks Appointment

JD(S) chief HD Kumaraswamy writes to the governor, seeking an appointment to stake claim to form government.

Congress Claim Support of Independent MLA

Speaking to reporters outside the Governor’s residence, Congress MLA DK Shivakumar said that the party had the support of an independent MLA.

I’m here with our independent MLA. The independent MLA Mr Nagesh & others MLAs are with us. We have the numbers. We want a secular goverment in Karnataka.

BS Yeddyurappa, Anath Kumar to Meet Governor

BJP CM candidate BS Yeddyurappa has announced that he too will meet the governor along with Union Minister Anath Kumar to stake claim to form government. “We are the single largest party in the state. The mandate is in our favour and against Congress,” he said.

They have sought an appointment for 5 pm with the governor, reported ANI. Speaking to reporters outside the Raj Bhawan, Yeddyurappa asserted that the BJP would indeed form the government.

We Will Form Government in Alliance with JD(S): Ghulam Nabi Azad

Speaking to ANI, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said:

Congress & JD(S) has 117, we need 111 to form the government. Since we were in power, and we lost, we have given our support for JD(S) led govt. BJP has 104, we are ahead of them.

BJP Seeks A Week's Time to Prove Majority: Reports

According to The News Minute, the BJP has sought a week’s time from the governor to prove their majority on the floor. Speaking to the website, a BJP MLA also reportedly said that talks had begun with MLAs in Congress and JD(S).

Meanwhile, handing over the letter to the governor, the delegation, reportedly quoting the SR Bommai judgment, said they would form the government as they were the single largest party.

Speaking to reporters outside the Raj Bhawan, Yeddyurappa said:

We just met the governor, and because we are single largest party, we requested that he allows us to prove majority in the Assembly.

JD(S)-Congress Reach Raj Bhavan

JD(S) chief HD Kumaraswamy, along with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and former CM Siddaramaiah arrived at the Raj Bhavan to meet the governor.

Congress and JD(S) Address the Media After Meeting the Governor

Addressing the media outside the Raj Bhavan, former CM Siddaramaiah affirmed that the Congress had offered the JD(S) ‘unconditional support’ to form government.

We have made it very clear to the Governor that we are providing full support to the JD(S) to form the government. JD(S) has also accepted this.
Siddaramaiah

The JD(S)-Congress alliance reportedly have 116 MLAs and two independent MLAs backing them.

'Simple Majority' Claim Ruined by BJP's Earlier Precedents: Surjewala

In a series of tweets, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said:

Congress Addresses Media

Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala drew parallels to the BJP’s post-poll alliance in Goa in the 2017 state assembly elections.

PM Modi Thanks BJP Workers for Karnataka Victory

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to thank the BJP Karyakartas for their ‘steadfast’ support and efforts in ensuring a victory.

BJP President Amit Shah Thanks Party Workers

Who Should Governor Invite to Form Karnataka Govt?

Single-largest party or a post-election coalition? Who should Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala invite to form the government? Here’s what the law says, and what the courts have considered in such cases previously.

BJP President Amit Shah Addresses Media

Addressing the media outside the BJP headquarters in New Delhi, BJP President Amit Shah said:

This is the 15th election. BJP has already won the last 14 elections. This is the 15th consecutive election where BJP is going to win.

Condemning the Congress for attempting to ‘divide and rule’, Shah alleged that the opposition party had ‘rigged the polls’.

He said the state has shown trust in Prime Minister Modi's "clean governance" and rejected the Congress' "divisive politics". He accused the Congress of using money and muscle power in Karnataka and added that the party was rejected by people of the state.

Congress to Move MLAs to Resorts: Reports

Speaking to The News Minute, Congress MLA DK Shivakaumar said that the party would hold a meeting tomorrow, following which MLAs will be moved to a resort to avoid poaching.

PM Modi Addresses Media

Terming the BJP’s performance in the elections an ‘unprecendented win’, Prime Mininster Narendra Modi said that the numbers had rubbished the perception that the party belongs to ‘Hindi-speaking parts of the country’.

They say BJP is a party of Hindi speaking states. Are Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra states in North East Hindi speaking states? No, BJP represents India. There was no barrier between people of Karnataka & me. I’ll always cherish the affection I received from them.

G Parameshwara to Be Deputy CM in proposed JD(S)-Congress Alliance

Congress’ G Parameshwara will be made the Deputy Chief Minister in the proposed Congress-JD(S) alliance, reported ANI, quoting JD(S) leader Baiju Narajan.

Rahul Gandhi Thanks Voters for Support

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, in a tweet, thanked the workers and voters for their support in the Karnataka elections.

BJP Parliamentary Meet Underway

Leaders from the BJP’s top brass met at the party headquarters in New Delhi to decide on the possible outcomes from the Karnataka elections.

JD(S) Supremo HD Deve Gowda Holds Talks With Congess Leaders

JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda arrives at Lalit Ashok to hold talks with Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, DK Shivakumar, Dr G Parameshwara, KJ George and others.

We Will Do As Governor Decides: BS Yeddyurappa

BJP CM candidate BS Yeddyurappa has said that party MLAs will approach the governor tomorrow after the legislative meeting to form government.

Tomorrow at 10:30 am in BJP legislative party meeting, I am going to be elected as party leader. After that all MLAs are going to meet the Governor to request him to allow BJP to form govt. Now the ball is in the court of the Governor. We will do as he decides.

Back-Channel Negotiations Begin

According to Congress party sources, DK Shivakumar was playing hardball with the other leaders, and lobbying for a Deputy Chief Ministership for himself.

But sources close to HD Kumaraswamy, the JD(S) president and Chief Minister designate of the coalition, said that the party was apprehensive of accepting DK Shivakumar as the Deputy Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, a BJP source said that the party is in talks with over 10 Congress MLAs and a few JD(S) leaders as well.

Read The News Minute’s full report on the negotiations here.

JD(S) and Congress Have More Than Required Seats: Siddaramaiah

After holding a meeting with JD(S) leaders, former CM and Congress leader Siddaramaiah addressed the press outside the Lalit Ashoka hotel in Bengaluru, stating that important decisions regarding the power-sharing formula would be decided later.

He said:

We have called a meeting tomorrow. All MLAs, including JD(S), are attending. We are 117, both parties put together. The party that has more than required number, that party has to be invited to form government. That is the law.

Meanwhile, CM designate in the alliance, HD Kumaraswamy, said that the JD(S) and Congress would decide on the alliance tomorrow.

JD(S)-Congress Meeting Ends

Siddaramaiah, Ghulam Nabi Azad and other Congress leave after meeting JD (S) leaders Deve Gowda HD Kumaraswamy at Bengaluru's Ashoka Hotel.

We have called for a meeting tomorrow (16 May). The newly elected Congress and JD(S) MLAs will be there. We are supporting JD(S) to form government and have sent this resolution to the Governor. After Goa election, the Supreme Court said that group having more seats than required seats are invited, we have 117 seats.
Siddaramaiah, Outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister

Jagdish Shetter Wins Hubli Dharwad

The Election Commission named BJP’s Jagadish Shettar as the winner of the Hubli Dharwad constituency. Earlier, the EC withheld the results for the constituency, due to alleged EVM malfunctioning.

If there is difference between EVM count and paper slip count, the paper slip count prevails. Winning margin in Hubli Dharwad Constituency is more than 20,000 but VVPAT slips counted in polling station no 135 A is only 459. Hence RO declared Jagadish Shettar as the winner.
Election Commission
(Photo: ANI)
KEY EVENT

Congress, BJP Elected Representatives to Meet

The legislative members of the Congress party are scheduled to meet at 8 am on Wednesday, 16 May, while members of the BJP are likely to meet at 10 am.

The JD(S) is also expected to meet early on Wednesday.

Congress MLAs Arrive for Party Legislative Meeting

All India Congress Committee General Secretary and MP, KC Venugopal and other Congress MLAs arrived at Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office for party legislative meeting.

BJP Might Eye Lingayat MLAs: Sources

Quoting sources in the BJP, The News Minute reported that the BJP has given up the fight to poach JD(S) MLAs and has turned its attention instead to Lingayat MLAs from the Congress. It is believed that MP B Sriramulu has been given the task of wooing them to defect during the floor test.

Sources in the BJP had earlier confirmed to the TNM how the party is trying to poach Lingayat MLAs in the opposition fold as a repeat of its 2008 Operation Kamala.

No Doubt That BJP Will Form Govt: BJP's KS Eshwarappa

The BJP’s KS Eshwarappa, who won Eshwarappa constituency on Tuesday told ANI, “There is no doubt we will form govt, 100 percent we'll do that. Wait and watch. Results came out only yesterday. It has been only a day. See what can happen in Karnataka in a day.”

BJP Called Me and Offered a Ministry: Congress Candidate

Congress candidate Amaregouda Linganagouda Patil Bayyapur alleged that BJP leaders tried to poach him so as to form the government in Karnataka.

He told ANI: “They said come to us and we'll give a ministry to you. We'll make you a minister. But, I'm going to stay here. HD Kumaraswamy is our Chief Minister.”

Governor Has to Cut BJP, RSS Ties and Take a Decision: Ghulam Nabi Azad

“The single largest party doesn't have the numbers. BJP has 104, we (Congress and JDS) have 117. Governor cannot take sides. Can a person who is there to save constitution, destroy it too? The governor has to cut all its previous associations, be it BJP or RSS,” State-in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad told ANI.

He said, “JD(S) has all the faith in their MLAs. Nobody is going to go away. Let BJP try, whatever they want to.”

All Congress MLAs Are Intact: Siddaramaiah

“All the Congress MLAs are intact. Nobody is missing. We are confident of forming the government,” outgoing chief minister Siddaramaiah told ANI after reaching the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office for party legislative meeting.

BJP Trying to Poach Our MLAs: Congress Leader DK Shivakumar

When asked if Congress MLAs are being moved to keep them from being poached, incumbent Karnataka energy minister and Congress leader DK Shivakumar, , “Yes definitely there is a plan. We have to safeguard our MLAs, We will let you know what is the plan.”

“They (BJP) are poaching our MLAs, we know that. Everyday there is a lot of pressure. But it not so easy because two parties have the necessary number. People are watching this,” he told ANI.

As per the The New Minute’s sources, Shivakumar has been lobbying for a Deputy Chief Ministership for himself.

But he denied the rumours and told ANI, “No question of asking for anything. Our priority right now is to have a secular government. All the 78 MLAs are together.”

KEY EVENT

If BJP Puts Pressure on Governor, It Will Be Death of Democracy: JD(S)

“JD(S) and Congress have the numbers. I hope, the governor will discharge his constitutional duties and invite HD Kumaraswamy to talk,” JD(S) National General Secretary Danish Ali told ANI. “If BJP puts pressure on the governor, it will be the death of democracy.”

KEY EVENT

BJP Is Trying to Poach Our MLAs, but Our MLAs Are Loyal: JD(S)

JD(S) Minister of Legislative Council Saravana told ANI: “I don't know what they (BJP) are offering but they are trying to call our people, but they are not responding. We are all together, no one can touch our party. Our party MLAs are loyal to the party.”

Congress leader KJ George has been given the task of hand-picking suitable resorts for the transfer of Congress and JD(S) MLAs, reported The News Minute, quoting sources.

The news website, quoting multiple party sources, reported that earlier Andhra pradesh was considered as the location but now Kerala and Puducherry are being considered.

We Will Ask Governor to Give Us Time Tomorrow: Yeddyurappa

Ahead of the BJP legislative party meeting, the BJP’s Chief Minister candidate BS Yeddyrurappa told ANI, “During the legislature party meeting the leader will be elected. From there we will go to Raj Bhavan immediately. We will claim to form the government. Most probably we will ask the Governor to give us time tomorrow.”

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar who will be at the meeting, told ANI, “People want BJP govt & we will make it. Anyone can create unnatural tensions, but people of Karnataka are with us. After meeting, we will take necessary steps. This attempt made by Congress to make a backdoor entry is not appreciated.”

Senior leaders J P Nadda and Dharmendra Pradhan will attend a meeting of the newly-elected BJP MLAs in Bengaluru on Wednesday, 16 May as the party's central observers.

The decision to send the two leaders to Bengaluru was taken by the BJP parliamentary board on Tuesday.

With the BJP appearing to be falling short of a majority after the results of the Karnataka assembly polls were declared, the party today rushed its three senior leaders to the state to talk with possible allies to cobble up the numbers required to form the next government in the state.

We Stand by Our Decision to Go With Congress: JD(S) Leader HD Kumaraswamy

JD(S) Karnataka chief HD Kumaraswamy reaffirmed that the party has already decided to support Congress and would stand by it. He told ANI, “We have already decided to go with Congress. That's the reason we called Janta Dal (Secular) Legislature Party meeting. There is no question of taking any other decision.”

Governor Is Obliged to Call Largest Party: Mukul Rohatgi

Former Attorney General Mulul Rohatgi told ANI, “Governor is obliged to call largest party, which is BJP. He should call BJP leader asking him if he can form governmet. If he says he can't, Governor will then call second party and if he says he can form govt, Governor should give him time to prove majority.”

Also Read: Hung Assembly: What Will Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala Do Now?

Two JD(S) MLAs Missing From Party Meeting

Amid assurances of a solid partnership with Congress, two JD(S) MLAs– Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and Venkata Rao Nadagoudaare reportedly missing from a legislative party meeting which is underway in a hotel in Bengaluru.

Yeddyurappa Meets Governor to Stake Claim to Form Government

After BJP party meet, BS Yeddyurappa has been elected as the legislative party chief in Karnataka. He went to Raj Bhavan to meet the governor and stake claim to form the government in the state.

Twelve Congress MLAs Missing From Congress Legislative Meeting

Out of the 78 Congress MLAs, 67 have reached for Congress legislative meeting at Karnataka Party Congress Committee office in Bengaluru, reported ANI.

Hope the Governor Will Call Me to Form Government: Yeddyurappa

“The party has chosen me. I have given the letter to the Governor and he will call me, that is what I am hoping,” BJP’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa said. “He told me that he will take an appropriate decision. I'll inform you after I receive letter from Governor,” he told reporters outside Raj Bhavan.

KEY EVENT

HD Kumaraswamy Named Legislative Party Leader of JD(S)

HD Kumaraswamy was chosen as the legislative party leader of the JD(S), in a meeting of party MLAs in Bengaluru.

BJP Bribing JD(S) MLAs with Rs 100 Cr Each, Where's Black Money Coming From?: Kumaraswamy

“JD(S) MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each," HD Kumaraswamy told reporters after the JD(S) legislative meeting. "Where is this black money coming from? They are supposedly the servers of poor people and they are offering money today. Where are the income tax officials?”

BJP Tried to Poach Five JD(S) MLAs: Reports

Five JD(S) MLA-elects have been approached by the BJP in a bid to poach them, reported The News Minute quoting party sources.

3 Congress MLAs Arrive at the Meeting

Three of the 11 missing Congress MLAs have arrived at the party meeting which is underway in Bengaluru.

Cong to Move SC If Not Invited to Form Government: Reports

Congress is set to move the Supreme Court of India if the Karnataka governor invites the BJP to form the government in the state, according to reports.

Horse-Trading Allegations are Baseless: Prakash Javadekar

Debunking Congress and JD(S)’ allegations about BJP trying to poach MLAs, Karnataka party in-charge Prakash Javadekar told ANI: “They are leveling baseless charges against BJP. Poaching and horse trading is not done by BJP, Congress is famous for it. Their own MLAs are not happy with their alliance.”

He added, “Rs 100 crore figure is not only imaginary but it is what Congress-JD(S) do politics through. We are going by rules,we have submitted our claim to the Governor, are confident of forming the government.”

Mamata Banerjee Conveys Wishes to HD Kumaraswamy: Reports

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee phoned JD(S) party legislative chief HD Kumaraswamy to convey her wishes, reported News18.

Quoting sources, News18 reported that few opposition leaders have advised the JD(S)-Congress alliance to approach the President if they are not invited by the governor to form the government.

73 out of 78 Congress MLAs Arrive for Party Meeting

Congress sources confirmed to The Quint that although 73 out of 78 party MLAs have reached the venue for the meeting, all the MLAs have assured their support to the JD(S)-Congress alliance.

The document, signed by the JD(S) and Congress MLAs will be submitted to the Governor later today when JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy approaches the governor.

Stealing MLAs Shouldn't Be Allowed: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Slamming the BJP for attempting to poach MLAs, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the governor should work as per the Constitution.

Stealing of MLAs shouldn’t be allowed. No governor can go against Constitution. We can’t tell you whom we’ll approach & whom not. At this juncture we’ve complete faith in governor that he’ll go by Constitution & not party politics.

He further alleged that the alliance members had been attempting to meet the governor from 12 pm onwards, and are yet to secure an appointment.

Congress-JD(S) to Sit on Dharna if Not Invited to Form Government: Sources

Quoting sources, ANI reported that the Congress-JD(S) MLAs will sit on dharna from tomorrow if they were not invited by the governor to form government. MPs are also also expected to join the protest.

KEY EVENT

JD(S)-Congress to Meet Governor at 5 pm

The JD(S)-Congress alliance have now been given a 5pm appointment to meet with Governor Vajubhai Vala. They were earlier said to meet at 4 pm.

According to News18, the delay in the meeting stems from the two parties still working out the details of their alliance.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leaders Ananth Kumar and JP Nadda met BS Yeddyurappa at his residence.

JD(S)-Congress MLAs to be Moved to a Resort

JD(S) and Congress MLAs are expected to be moved to a resort later in the evening, according to media reports. A News18 report said that the MLAs would be lodged at the Eagleton Golf resort in Bengaluru.

A bus arrives at the Congress’ Bengaluru headquarters to take the MLAs to a resort
A bus arrives at the Congress’ Bengaluru headquarters to take the MLAs to a resort
(Photo: @thejaram/The News Minute)

JD(S)-Congress MLAs En Route Raj Bhavan

Congress MLAs have left the party headquarters in Bengaluru to meet the governor in Raj Bhavan.

Meanwhile, police personnel have been deployed outside the Raj Bhavan, where fresh political drama is expected to unfold.

(Photo: Arun Dev/The Quint)

JD(S) MLAs Stopped at Raj Bhavan Gates

The JD(S) delegation, led by CM desginate HD Kumaraswamy, has reportedly been stopped outside Raj Bhavan.

HD Kumaraswamy waiting outside the Raj Bhavan.
HD Kumaraswamy waiting outside the Raj Bhavan.
(Photo: Arun Dev/The Quint)

Meanwhile, the police is allowing MLAs inside the premises only after checking their names.

HD Kumaraswamy, Other Leaders Allowed Entry into Raj Bhavan

While the police denied entry to the JD(S) MLAs inside the Raj Bhavan, the forces have allowed HD Kumaraswamy and some other leaders to enter.

Congress Leaders Reach Raj Bhavan

Congress leaders DK Shivakumar and Priyank Kharge reach Raj Bhavan
Congress leaders DK Shivakumar and Priyank Kharge reach Raj Bhavan
(Photo: Arun Dev/The Quint)

Congress-JD(S) Address the Media

Addressing the press conference, JD(S) chief HD Kumaraswamy said:

Governor said he will refer to Supreme Court judgment and consult with legal experts before taking a final call.

Kumaraswamy also added that the parties had submitted a letter to prove their strength – 117 MLAs, and that the governor had accepted their appeal.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Parameshwara said that they had communicated thier decision to support JD(S). Speaking to ANI after the conference, DK Shivakumar asserted that none of the members had defected, and that the party would not allow for any such thing to happen.

BJP MPs Allege Phone Tapping by Congress

BJP MPs Shobha Karandlaje, GM Siddeshwara and PC Mohan write to Home minister Rajnath Singh stating, 'we have every reason to believe that Karnataka government is misusing its power and tapping our mobile phones. This is clear violation of our fundamental right to privacy.'

People gave BJP Mandate: Eshwarappa

Addressing a press conference, BJP’s Eswarappa said that the people of the state would not accept another government.

Congress MLAs Leave Bengaluru Headquarters

Congress MLAs left the Bengaluru headquarters, hours after meeting with the governor, presumably for a resort.

Speaking to reporters, Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said:

Hotel or wherever we go, MLAs will stay together and discuss things. Congress is compelled to keep its MLAs together because of the horse-trading going on.

BJP Invited to Form Government

Confirming earlier reports, BJP leader Suresh Kumar had tweeted saying BS Yeddyurappa will take oath on 17 May at 9.30 am. The tweet has now been deleted.

The tweet reads: “BS Yeddyurappa will be sworn in as Chief Minister of the state at Raj Bhavan tomorrow at 9.30 am on Thursday. Let’s gather in large numbers at 8:30 am to take part in this moment of celebration.”

The BJP too had tweeted out that Yeddyurappa would take oath at 9.30 am, deleting the tweet later.

Chidambaram Addresses Press Briefing

Addressing a press conference, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram criticised the governor, stating that despite the Congress-JD(S) alliance having a majority, the governor is yet to take a decision.

What is standing in way of the Governor from extending invitation to leader of the alliance (HD Kumaraswamy), who clearly demonstrated that he commands the support of the majority?

He added that if the governor did not invite Kumaraswamy to form the government, that would mean that he was indirectly encouraging poaching of MLAs.

HD Kumaraswamy Levels Allegations of Bribery

Speaking to reports, JD(S) chief HD Kumaraswamy:

Where are you taking this country, one wonders ? Someone was offered Rs 3 cr, someone Rs 5 cr & someone Rs 100 cr, anybody walking on the road has a price?

JD(S)-Congress Likely to File Petition in SC Tonight: Sources

Sources have told The Quint that the JD(S)-Congress alliance will likely file a petition in the Supreme Court tonight. The petition will either be filed with the SC Registrar or the CJI.

BJP Confirms Yeddyurappa's Swearing-In Ceremony

After initially having said that BS Yeddyurappa would take oath as CM at 9.30 am, the BJP has now revised the time by half an hour to 9.00 am.

The BJP has been given 15 days time to prove its majority on the floor of the Assembly.

BJP Addresses Media After Governor Invites Them to Form Government

Addressing a press conference minutes after the governor invited the BJP to form government, senior leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said:

The party that blew up the constitution to shambles is teaching us the constitution, the party that imposed President rule the most number of times is giving us lessons.

Governor Acts as a BJP Puppet: Randeep Surjewala

Htting out at the governor, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted:

Governor Has Shamed His Office: Congress

Addressing a press conference concurrently, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the Karnataka Governor had acted as a 'stooge' of BJP, and had ‘shamed his office’.

We want to ask Amit Shah ji that if two parties cannot come together in post poll coalition, then how did you form governments in Goa & Manipur by superseding single largest party? Governor has shamed his office.

Surjewala thena alleged that by getting the governor to act like a ‘BJP puppet’, the party had an “oppressional 'Operation Kamal' at the Raj Bhavan.”

Governor is Encouraging Horse-Trading: HD Kumaraswamy

Speaking to reporters after the BJP was invited to form government, HD Kumaraswamy alleged that the governor was encouraging ‘horse-trading’ by giving the BJP 15 day time to prove majority.

Gujarati traders have opened their shop here. There are three of them, Modi, Shah and Vala. We will fight back. I am warning them, we will face it.
Kumaraswamy reportedly reporters in Bengaluru

Congress Moves SC, Seeks Immediate Hearing

Congress- JD(S) moved Supreme Court against Karnataka governor's invitation to BJP to form government. The party has sought a hearing tonight on its petition against the governor’s decision.

The petition was filed by Abhishek Manu Singhvi on behalf of his party.

Kumaraswamy Arrives at Eagleton Resort

JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy arrived at the Eagleton resort, where Congress MLAs, and senior leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad are stationed.

120 rooms have reportedly been booked for the Congress MLAs in Eagleton resort.

Governor Acting As Partisan Agent of Centre: Singhvi

Congress MP Abhishek Singhvi, who moved the petition against Karnataka governor’s invitation to BJP to form the government, questioned how the governor gave the party 15 days to prove majority.

In a tweet, Singhvi accused the governor of acting as a partisan agent of the Centre.

Only Yeddyurappa to Take Oath on Wednesday

Karnataka Chief Secretary Ratnaprabha, speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, confirmed that only BS Yeddyurappa will take oath as the state’s Chief Minister on Thursday, 17 May.

Yeddyurappa is scheduled to take oath in at Raj Bhavan Glass House in Bengaluru at 9 am.

Cong, JD(S) File Petition at SC

Congress and JD(S) filed petition before the Supreme Court Registrar against Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala inviting BJP CM designate BS Yeddyurappa to form the government.

Following the examination of the petition filed by both the parties, the Registrar will reportedly meet CJI Dipak Misra - who has the sole power to constitute a bench.

The BJP has reportedly filed a caveat with the SC, anticipating an interim order.

How Will BJP Prove Majority: Cong, JD(S) Lawyer

Congress and JD(S) lawyer Javed questioned how the BJP will prove their majority when they have won only 104 seats.

How will they prove majority on floor with 104 MLAs, even if they get some independent MLAs? Only way out is to bring Cong and JD(S) MLAs with them, either by using muscle power or buying MLAs. We have filed a petition urging governor to give us a chance.
Congress, JD(S) Lawyer

We Have Enough MLAs to Prove Majority: Javadekar

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that they “definitely” had the majority, on being asked if BJP has the number of MLAs to form the government.

Javadekar arrived at the residence of BS Yeddyurappa for a meeting with senior BJP leaders.

SC Secretary Reaches CJI Residence

The Secretary General of the Supreme Court reached the residence of the Chief Justice of India along with the Registrar, to decide whether to hear the petition filed by the Congress, JD(S) at midnight.

(Photo: ANI)

What Does the Cong, JD(S) Petition State?

  • Restrain the Hon’ble Governor from selecting/inviting/appointing Shri B.S. Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister of Karnataka and administering him the oath of office till the Writ Petition is finally disposed.
  • Direct that the impugned order dated 16.05.2018 not to be given effect to or acted upon.
  • Pass ad interim ex-parte orders in relation to the two points mentioned above and after notice confirm the same till the final disposal of the writ petition.

(Read full story here.)

CJI to Hear Cong, JD(S) Petition at 1:45 AM

Hours before the swearing-in of BS Yeddyurappa as Karnataka Chief Minister, the Supreme Court will hear the petition filed by Congress and JD(S) challenging the governor’s invitation to BJP to form the government at 1:45 AM.

Shows System Still Works, Tweets Singhvi

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who filed the petition on behalf of his party tweeted saying that “system works irrespective of merits in large wheels.”

Three-Judge Bench to Hear Cong, JD(S) Petition

A three-judge bench of Justice AK Sikri, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Bobde will hear Congress & JD(S) petition challenging Karnataka Governor's invitation to BJP to form the government at 1:45 am, reported ANI.

Tushar Mehta to Defend K'taka Governor, Rohatgi to Represent BSY

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta will defend Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala in the petition filed by Congress, JD(S) challenging his invitation to BJP to form government in the state.

Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who is likely to represent the BJP said:

Governor has discretion to call largest party and he has done so. If the single largest party won’t be able to form government, the other party will be called. In the case of Goa election, single largest party Congress has not presented its side, that’s the difference.
Mukul Rohatgi, Former AG

Governor Negated Democracy, Action is Subject to Judicial Review: Singhvi in SC

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Congress-JD(S) alliance commenced arguments, saying governor Vajubhai Vala completely dispensed with constitutional norm. Singhvi reportedly said HD Kumaraswamy staked his claim to form government with support from Congress MLAs. The alliance has a total strength of 116 in 222-member Assembly, said Singhvi.

Singhvi questioned how the Governor passed an order for BS Yeddyurappa’s oath-taking for Thursday, at 9 PM on Wednesday, 16 May.

Rule is clear about absolute majority. Delves into Sarkaria Commission’s order of preferences - pre-poll alliances, single largest party, post-poll alliance and coalition.
Abhishek Singhvi reportedly argued

Here are the arguments made by the Congress-JD(S) alliance:

  • A party without the majority is given 15 days to prove majority, your lordships have settled, it’s the biggest license for poaching of MLAs.
  • Not calling Cong-JDS alliance which commands majority support in Karnataka Assembly, the Governor has negated democracy.
  • The Governor's decision cannot be whimsical. There are innumerable instances where post poll alliances have been invited to form government.
  • The Governor’s decision was sure invitation for horse trading.
  • Calling a person who commands 104 MLAs ahead of another who commands 116 MLAs and then giving the person 15 days is adding insult to injury by the Governor.
  • When the single party does not have the majority, the person with the absolute majority should be invited to form the government.
  • BJP cannot say they have the support of other parties. EC certificate shows 104 only unless someone from Congress has defected, and that is prohibited.

AG Venugopal Enters Courtroom

Attorney General KK Venugopal has also reportedly entered the courtroom, to represent Union of India.

Can SC Restrain a Governor, Asks Jsutice Bobde

Justice Bobde reportedly asked Abhishek Singhvi if the Supreme Court had the powers to restrain a governor.

“The SC had done that in the past”, Singhvi said in response to Justice Bobde.

Singhvi reportedly added there won't be “vaccum as caretaker government is always in place.”

The senior advocate also reportedly gave instances where single largest party didn’t make the government, citing Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya and Delhi.

“There is a precedent where the court has preponed the floor test from 7 days to 48 hours. I have given six instances where the single largest party didn’t form the government, out of which in one case your lordships have upheld such governments, ” Singhvi reportedly said.

Mayhem Outside SC during the Midnight Hearing: The Quint Reports From Ground Zero

Court May Ask BSY to Place Letter on Record

The Supreme Court may reportedly ask BS Yeddyurappa to place on record, the letter submitted by him to the Karnataka Governor, claiming that his party had the support of 111 MLAs.

Where is the letter of the Governor in which he invited BJP to form the government?
SC Bench asked Singhvi

Defer Swearing-in, Singhvi Tells SC

Abhishek Manu Singhvi arguing for Congress-JD(S) sought deferring of swearing-in by two days.

"Swearing-in ceremony can be held day after tomorrow," said Singhvi in the hearing of plea filed by Congress and JD(S) challenging Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision.

He argued that defering swearing-in is not like “restraining” the Governor.

AG Venugopal Begins Arguments

Attorney General KK Venugopal has started making arguments on behalf of the Government of India.

The whole issue is a grey area subject to speculation.
KK Venugopal, AG

Former AG Mukul Rohatgi, who is representing BJP MLAs intervened and asked if “heavens will fall if someone is sworn-in.”

I was woken up from sleep at midnight. This petition should never have been taken up at midnight. Will heavens fall if somebody is sworn in?
Mukul Rohatgi, BJP Lawyer

Heavy Security Outside SC

Security tightened outside the Supreme Court as hearing of Congress- JD(S) petition underway.

(Photo: Meghnad Bose/The Quint)

Justice Sikri Rejects Argument Made by AG on MLA Defection

Justice AK Sikri rejected the argument made by AG KK Venugopal who said ‘anti defection will come into force only after the MLAs are sworn in.”

He reportedly said that MLAs can defect before oath-taking, which the apex court called “preposterous.”

Decision Has Nothing to Do With 4 AM: Justice Bobde

BJP MLAs’ lawyer Mukul Rohatgi argued that the date of floor test can be decided later on Thursday, but the SC bench rejected that saying it has nothing to do with arguments being heard at 4 AM.

Whether floor test should be conducted in 10 or 15 days can be decided tomorrow and not at 4 am in the morning.
Mukul Rohatgi, BJP MLAs Lawyer
What we can do tomorrow can be done today as well..and it has nothing to do with 4 AM.
Justice Bobde in response to Rohatgi

Dismiss the Petition Filed by Cong, JD(S): Rohatgi

Mukul Rohatgi, who is representing some BJP MLAs asked for the petition filed by Congress and JD(S) to be dismissed by the Supreme Court. He said that the bench can hold the decision as bad, but cannot be stopped from acting.

I am not asking for adjourning the petition by Congress and JD(S). I am saying dismiss the petition. The Governor can’t be restrained from performing his constitutional function by an interim order. SC may reverse the order and hold it bad but it can’t be injuncted.
Mukul Rohatgi

He said that Congress and JD(S) should have waited for the floor test, before moving the apex court.

It’s Governor’s job to invite to oath. The President and Governor are not answerable to any court. The court should not stop a constitutional functionary in functioning of his official duties.
Mukul Rohatgi

Relief for Yeddyurappa as SC Rejects Con, JD(S) Plea

Justice AK Sikri said that the Supreme Court does not intend to stay swearing-in ceremony of BS Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister of Karnataka.

We will issue notices to all the parties and say swearing in will be subject to the outcome of the petition.
Justice AK Sikri

It's Not Over for Cong, JD(S) As SC Resumes Hearing

With Congress representative Abhishek Singhvi persisting, the Supreme Court agrees to hear the arguments further. Rohatgi resumes his submissions.

The apex court reportedly said that if it cannot issue notice to the Karnataka Governor, it should not “injure him from swearing-in also”.

SC to Hear Plea at 10:30 AM on Friday

The Supreme Court ordered that there will no stay on the swearing-in of BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. However, the court noted, that BSY’s appointment as CM will be subjected to outcome of case. The matter is to be taken up at 10.30 am on Friday.

The apex court has issued notices to all the respondents.

Watch: The Quint Brings Live Updates from Ground Zero

Round-up: What Happened in the SC at Midnight

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 17 May, said it was not in favour of deferring BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa's swearing-in as Karnataka Chief Minister, even as the Congress and JD(S) continued their past-midnight legal push to stall the government formation in the state.

"As far as swearing-in is concerned, we are not restraining it, but we are making it subject to the outcome of the case," a three-judge bench, comprising justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan said in a rare past-midnight hearing that continued till the wee hours of Thursday.

However, before the bench was to dictate the order, senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi pleaded the bench not to dictate the final order and sought to argue the matter further. During his submission he said the swearing-in could be postponed from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm on Thursday also adding that the BJP should be asked to produce the letter of support from the majority of MLAs submitted to the governor before forming the government.

The bench was of the view that a notice has to be be issued to Yeddyurappa as he has not made his appearance before the court through an advocate. However, Singhvi said Yeddyurappa has been heard in proxy through two BJP MLAs who were represented by Mukul Rohatgi at 2.11 am.

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