Karnataka Floor Test LIVE: BS Yeddyurappa Quits; Rahul Gandhi Says 'No One Untouchable, Willing to Work With Others'
A special session of the Karnataka Assembly began this morning with MLAs taking oath of office and the BJP all set to take the floor test that would determine the fate of the three-day old BS Yeddyurappa government. The session started with the singing of the national song, Vande Mataram, following which pro tem Speaker K G Bopaiah welcomed and congratulated the members elected to the 15th Assembly and started administering the oath to them.
Earlier, the Supreme Court, hearing Congress-JD(S) combine's petition challenging the appointment of Bopaiah as pro-tem speaker by Governor Vajubhai Vala, ordered live telecast of proceedings of the floor test, slated for 4 PM. Recording the statement of Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the BJP-led Karnataka government and the governor, that there would be live telecast, the court said it was not necessary to go into all the prayers of the petitioners.
The Congress-JD(S) combine in its petition has contended that the appointment of Bopaiah was contrary to the tradition of choosing the senior-most legislator for the post. In the Assembly, Bopaiah read out the procedures to be followed during the oath taking of the members. Yeddyurappa took the oath first, followed by Congress Legislature Party leader and his predecessor Siddaramaiah. Then the other members started taking oath in batches of five one after the other.
The floor test is scheduled for 4 pm as per the Supreme Court's yesterday order that drastically reduced the 15-day window given by the governor to Yeddyurappa to prove majority.
Elections held on May 12 to 222 of the state's 224 seats have resulted in a hung assembly with the BJP having 104 MLAs, while the Congress won 78 seats and JD(S) 37. Polling in two seats will be held later.
The Congress-JD(S) combine has claimed the support of 117 MLAs, including one each from the BSP and the KPJP, and one Independent. The JD(S)'s effective strength will be 36 at the time of voting, as its leader H D Kumaraswamy has won from two seats. This will also reduce the strength of the House to 221 and the BJP will require 111 votes for a simple majority.