Karnataka highlights: Congress, JD(S) MLAs seen leaving resorts, likely to head to Kochi, Hyderabad
BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa was sworn in as Karnataka’s new chief minister on Thursday morning after the Supreme Court refused to stay the oath-taking ceremony in a rare late-night hearing. The Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) combine had petitioned the top court late on Wednesday night in a bid to stall the BJP from forming government.
Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala on Wednesday invited the BJP to form the next state government and asked Yeddyurappa, 75, to take over the chief minister’s post by proving his majority in the legislative assembly in 15 days.
The development capped a day of political flux that began after election results on Tuesday threw up a hung house.
Here are the live updates:
May 18, 7.30am: Supreme Court to continue hearing this morning the Congress-JD(S) petition challenging governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision. For today’s live updates, click here.
11.45pm: JD(S) MLAs to leave Shangri-La Hotel in Bengaluru.
‘Some of the Congress and JD(S) MLAs are going to Kochi and some are heading to Hyderabad,’ JDS MLA says Shivarame Gowda, according to ANI reports.
9.47 pm: Ramalinga Reddy alleges that after police was withdrawn (from outside Eagleton Resort), BJP people came inside and offered money.
“Constantly they have been calling people on phone,” he says.
9.45 pm: JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy says, “We have not yet decided where to go. Today late night we will decide where we have to go. There were several suggestions, one of them is to hold a protest in front of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.”
9.43 pm: All MLAs are in Bengaluru. BJP is accusing us of forgery while they are the ones who have done it. We have full faith in the Supreme Court. It will not repeat the same mistake as the Governor: Ghulam Nabi Azad
9.41 pm: Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy says they will be shifted today.
“We will tell you more later. JD(S) MLAs are not coming along. The place has not been decided yet,” ANI reports Reddy as saying.
9.39 pm: BJP can’t use two rules for one game. BJP, Central government and their governors have been exposed in front of the nation. It should be the duty of central government to protect the constitution and democracy but it’s unfortunate that we have to protect these from the central government: Ghulam Nabi Azad
8:41pm: “In constitution there is no separate rule for Goa and Karnataka. Though the governor committed a mistake in 2017, she has a chance to rectify it now. We are confident. Governor has given time for 11:30 am tomorrow. I will go with MLAs to meet her and stake our claim to form the government,” says Chella Kumar, Congress’ Goa in-charge.
8:30pm: National president of JD(S) HD Deve Gowda holds telephonic conversation with Congress president Rahul Gandhi over the current political situation in Karnataka: ANI.
8:27pm: The Congress’s Rajasthan unit chief Sachin Pilot accuses the BJP of “strangulating democracy” in Karnataka and “fiddling with Constitution” to retain power.
“The BJP has insulted people’s mandate in Karnataka. Their only aim seems to be in power. They can even fiddle with the Constitution to be in power.”
8:23pm: Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala appoints Prabhuling K Navadgi as the Advocate General for the state of Karnataka in place of Madhusudan R Naik, who has resigned from the post.
8:19pm: The Congress leaders in Meghalaya say they will stake claim for formation of government since the party had emerged as the single largest party in the recent elections: IANS.
Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma had sought time from the governors of the state for a meeting tomorrow.
In Meghalaya, the National People’s Party had bagged 19 seats in the 60 member House and the Congress had secured 21 seats but was denied the chance to form the government in February.
7:59pm: The Congress will observe ‘Save Democracy Day’ across the country tomorrow to protest Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s “collusion with the BJP” and his “partisan” action: IANS.
State Congress chiefs have been asked to address press conferences and give memorandums to respective Governors to urge President Ram Nath Kovind to “safeguard democratic principles and the sanctity of the Constitution”.
7:55pm: Congress leader Siddaramaiah says the BJP people are doing horse-trading. “This is unethical and against the principles of democracy. No MLA will yield to their demand."
7:44pm: JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy says: “It is our responsibility to give security to our MLAs. I am really surprised to see how Yeddyurappa is behaving. After taking oath he has already transferred 4 IPS officers. BJP’s movement is laughable. All 38 MLAs are with me.”
7:42pm: Bihar BJP leader Mangal Pandey says: “Those unemployed are looking for work. From time to time they keep looking for work like this. They have still not recovered from their loss. It is nonsense. We had proved majority in Bihar, why are they (RJD) doing this after 8 months?”
Congress leader DK Shivakumar says: “There has been murder of democracy. Let us wait till tomorrow, we feel justice will be in favour of us. Already a chaos is happening throughout country. In Bihar, Goa, Manipur and other states where we were the single largest party, they are asking for same formula.”
7:30pm: Over 350 Congress leaders and workers arrested, and later released, for holding a rally in Tripura’s Agartala to protest against the decision to allow the BJP to form a government in Karnataka: PTI.
Police say the Congress workers were arrested for holding the protest rally without permission.
7:15pm: BJP leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar says: “Whatever the BJP has done in Karnataka is in accordance with the rule book. Congress is ill-informed and as a result is making these funny claims. They don’t have faith on their MLAs as they have held them captive in a resort. JD(S) and Congress are scared after being exposed.”
7:02pm: “We are seeking appointment from the governor for tomorrow. We were the single largest party and had immediately met the governor after results were announced but we were not invited to form the government. Based on recent developments, if the BJP can be given a chance to form government, why not us?” asks Congress leader and former Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
6:45pm: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav says: “Would like to know from BJP and Bihar chief minister if invitation to single largest party in Karnataka is right or insulting public’s mandate in Bihar by making post-poll alliance was right. If what they did in Karnataka is right then they must accept what they did in Bihar was wrong.”
5:43pm: Members and workers of Congress stage a protest in Lucknow against Karnataka governor for inviting BS Yeddyurappa to form government there: ANI.
“This is not the system. Irrespective of whose government it is, it is their duty to provide protection, provide security to the elected representatives,” says Congress leader KH Muniyappa, on security withdrawn from outside Eagleton Resort near Bengaluru where Congress MLAs are lodged.
5:20pm: “Party has decided that we will meet the governor at 1pm tomorrow and demand that like the BJP, the single largest party in Karnataka, was called to form the govt, similarly the current government here (Bihar) be dissolved and the single largest party, RJD, be invited to form the government,” says RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.
“How will the BJP prove majority? Amit Shah has only one formula, horse-trading or sending agencies like CBI and ED behind MLAs of other parties. It is dictatorship by the BJP. If we are not united today then it was Bihar yesterday, Karnataka today, can be MP or Rajasthan tomorrow,” he adds.
5:02pm: All India Congress Committee general secretary Ashok Gehlot issues letter requesting all Pradesh Congress Committees, leaders and workers to organise state-wide dharnas at state capitals and district headquarters tomorrow to protest against Karnataka governor for inviting BS Yedurappa for forming the government.
4:50pm: “I don’t need 15 days to prove majority,” says new Karnataka chief minister Yeddyurappa.
4:29pm: “Vajubhai Vala (Karnataka governor) had sacrificed his seat for Narendra Modi earlier, yesterday he sacrificed the Constitution and democracy for him. He conducted the first encounter of Constitution yesterday when he invited the BJP to form the government. Today, when he swore-in BS Yeddyurappa, he conducted its second encounter,” says Randeep Surjewala.
4:17pm: Congress-JD(S) move Supreme Court against nomination of Anglo-Indian member to Karnataka Assembly, say this cannot be done till BJP undergoes floor test: PTI.
Court to hear their plea on Friday along with the main case against Karnataka Governor for inviting BS Yedurappa for making government.
4:15pm: “BS Yeddyurappa is going to be the chief minister for a day, half of which has already gone by,” Congress leader Randeep Surjewala says.
4:10pm: “We would be holding a 1-day tomorrow against the murder of democracy in Karnataka. We also request the Bihar Governor to dissolve the state government and like in Karnataka, invite the single largest party which in Bihar is the RJD,” says RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.
4:04 pm: Congress Legislature Party chief Chandrakant Kavlekar said the party will stake claim to form government in Goa tomorrow by submitting to governor Mridula Sinha a formal letter containing signatures of all the 16 party MLAs, reports PTI.
“In 2017, we won 17 seats and were the single largest party and continue to be but the governor chose to invite the BJP which had 13 seats. In Karnataka, the governor invited the BJP as they are the single largest party. So, we appeal to governor to invite us to form government, says Congress leader Yatish Naik.
3:44pm: Indian shares slip, hurt by financials, while doubts whether the BJP can prove its majority in Karnataka weigh on investor sentiment. Sensex tanks 238.76 points to close at 35,149.12. Nifty falls 58.40 points to 10,682.70.
3:41pm: DMK leader Stalin slams the BJP on Twitter after Yeddyurappa becomes CM despite party not having the required majority . “People of Tamil Nadu are familiar with the BJP’s efforts to protect the corrupt ADMK Government, which also incidentally does not enjoy the majority support in the Legislative Assembly. Constitutional institutions and principles are under threat from these actions,” he says.
3:38pm: DMK says governor Vajubhai Vala’s “hasty” decision will lead to horse-trading. “The Karnataka Governor’s hasty invitation to the BJP to form Government despite the majority of MLAs forming a post-poll alliance of INC-JD(S)-BSP is arbitrary & unconstitutional. Such a move will only serve to enable horse-trading and destroy our democratic foundations,” DMK working president MK Stalin tweets.
2:28pm: “The Governor is going against the Constitution.The role of Governor is being dictated by the government. He was a RSS member and cabinet minister under Modi saheb in Gujarat. It is obvious that he will listen to the Centre,” says Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh, reports ANI.
1:59pm: Advocate NP Amrutesh files PIL in Karnataka high court against BJP forming government in the state. PIL states Court should not allow defection of MLAs to BJP through resigning or cross voting: ANI
1:53pm: Yeddyurappa confident of proving majority within the next 15 days, the time frame set by the state governor. “I am thankful to the people of the state, especially farmers and the poor, who have supported me. People are with me and the BJP and I am confident that I will win the majority and be in power for the next five years,” says the new CM.
1:27pm: All Congress MLAs return to Eagleton resort after protesting at Vidhan Soudha.
1:26pm: Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha says political developments in Karnataka are a “rehearsal” for the Lok Sabha elections. “What is happening in Karnataka today is a rehearsal for what will happen after the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi,” the former Finance Minister says on Twitter.
1:25pm: JD(S) MLAs arrive at Eagleton Resort in Bengaluru, according to ANI.
1:15pm: BJP national president Amit Shah calls Yeddyurappa’s elevation as chief minister “victory of every Kannadiga”.
“Congrats to Shri @BSYBJP ji for being sworn in as the CM of Karnataka. This is the victory of every Kannadiga who voted to uproot the corrupt & divisive politics of Congress. I am sure the new govt under the guidance of PM @narendramodi will fulfil the aspirations of the people (sic),” he posted on Twitter.
12:45pm: Congress leader DK Shivakumar says BJP’s new government will be short, according to ANI. “It is a short-lived government, we are confident because we have the majority.We will fight for justice. 100% all our MLAs are with us,” he says
12:40pm: “It is a conspiracy to destroy the constitution made by Baba Saheb Ambedkar, since they (BJP) came to power they have been misusing government machinery, thereby attacking democracy,” says BSP chief Mayawati on Yeddyurappa being sworn in as Karnataka CM, according to ANI.
12:38pm: Amit Shah tweets that the ‘Murder of Democracy’ happens the minute “a desperate Congress made an ‘opportunist’ offer to the JD(S), not for Karnataka’s welfare but for their petty political gains”.
12:20pm: Siddaramaiah says all 118 Congress and JD(S) MLAs are present at the protest: ANI
11:58am: “Today, Constitution is being attacked. In Karnataka, on one side there are MLAs standing and on the other side the Governor. JD(S) has said its MLAs have been offered ₹100 crore each,” says Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
11:17am: HD Deve Gowda joins Congress protest at Vidhan Soudha.
11:11am: Senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani moves SC in his personal capacity against Karnataka governor’s decision to invite BJP to form government.
10:58am: Kumaraswamy says a Congress MLA who spoke to Anand Singh told him the BJP is threatening him with a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate. “‘I am sorry I have to protect my interest,’ another Congress MLA who spoke to Singh told me,” says Kumaraswamy, according to ANI.
10:51am: BS Yeddyurappa has become Karnataka CM (for a) third time. I have confidence that he will provide a stable and responsible government. It is unfortunate that Congress, being an age old party, is indulging in nefarious activities, they should work as a constructive opposition party, says BJP leader Ananth Kumar, reports ANI.
10:50am: “All MLAs are here except Anand Singh, he is in clutches of Narendra Modi,” alleges Congress lawmaker DK Suresh, reports ANI.
10:47am: Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy says he will request his father, HD Deve Gowda, to talk to all regional parties and see how BJP is destroying democratic systems. “We have to come together to protect interests of the country,” he says, reports ANI.
10:43am: HD Kumaraswamy, who was the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine, says their plan is to safeguard MLAs. “BJP and their ministers are working to purchase MLAs; people should know about attitude of central government. BJP does not have majority, how has the Governor behaved? He has misused his office,” says Kumaraswamy: ANI.
10:41am: Attorney general Mukul Rohtagi says the Congress’ decision to move a petition against the BJP forming government in Karnataka did not warrant any urgency. “There was no need for the matter to be listed at night. SC has the power to undo if any wrong is done. Last night we didn’t have all the papers, except the petition,” says Rohatgi according to ANI.
10: 35am: New Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa reaches Vidhan Soudha, the state assembly.
10:13am: All MLAs are in contact; the two MLAs who are not present here right now will come, says Congress MLA Khader, outside Eagleton resort near Bengaluru: ANI.
10:10am: JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda leaves from his residence for Shangri-La Hotel where his party MLAs are staying.
9:43am: Congress leaders reach Vidhan Soudha, hold protest at Mahatma Gandhi’s statue against BS Yeddyurappa’s swearing in as CM of Karnataka. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal and Siddaramaiah are among those present.
9:30am: BJP workers celebrate after Yeddyurappa takes oath outside Raj Bhavan.
9:28am: Congress leader and former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah says the petition against BJP forming government is pending before the Supreme Court. “We will go to the people and we will tell them how BJP is going against the Constitution,” he adds: ANI.
9:20am: “If Congress wants to protest, they should protest against Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Siddaramaiah, as this trio has ruined the Congress,” says Union minister Ananth Kumar, according to ANI.
9:15am: Congress and JD(S) MLAs leave Eagleton Resort to protest outside Vidhana Soudha (Karnataka Assembly), reports ANI.
9:07am: Yeddyurappa is Karnataka’s new chief minister. BJP to form government.
9:03am: BS Yeddyurappa being sworn in as Karnataka’s new CM.
9am: Oath taking ceremony begins.
8:58am: Congress president Rahul Gandhi calls BJP’s “irrational insistence” to form Karnataka government a “mockery of our Constitution”.
8:55am: Yeddyurappa arrives at Raj Bhavan for oath-taking ceremony.
8:30am: Yeddyurappa leaves for Raj Bhavan.
8:19am: Union ministers JP Nadda, Dharmendra Pradhan and Prakash Javadekar arrive at Raj Bhavan for swearing-in ceremony.
7:10am: Police stand guard outside Raj Bhavan where Yeddyurappa is scheduled to take oath as chief minister of Karnataka at 9am.
6am: The top court also issues notices to Karnataka government and Yeddyurappa seeking their replies on the plea filed by Congress-JD (S) combine and posts matter for hearing on Friday.
5:40am: The court, however, made clear that the swearing-in and the government formation in the state will be subject to the final outcome of the case.
5:30am: In a rare overnight hearing, Supreme Court refuses to stay BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as Karnataka chief minister after Congress petitions the court. The court began the hearing around 2 am.