Supreme Court decision to shut 15-day window changed the game, says Singhvi
Singhvi, one of the Congress’ legal brains, swiftly lodged a petition challenging governor Vajubhai Vala’s invitation to Yeddyurappa to form the government after the BJP emerged as the single largest party from the May 12 assembly elections, but fell short of a majority.Updated: May 19, 2018 23:44 IST
The Supreme Court’s decision to shorten the time frame for BS Yeddyurappa to prove a majority in the Karnataka assembly from the 15 days he had been given by the governor to one day proved to be a gamechanger, according to Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the man who fought the Congress’ legal battle to prevent the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from capturing Karnataka.
Singhvi, one of the Congress’ legal brains, swiftly lodged a petition challenging governor Vajubhai Vala’s invitation to Yeddyurappa to form the government after the BJP emerged as the single largest party from the May 12 assembly elections, but fell short of a majority.
Vala asked Yeddyurappa to prove a majority on the floor of the house in 15 days — a length of time that rivals feared the BJP could use to induce defections.
“Definitely, the SC order changed the game. The bench married harmoniously both principle and pragmatism. We also, rightly, accepted the offer,” Singhvi told Hindustan Times after Yeddyurappa’s resignation on Saturday without facing a trust vote..
“The bench asked me specifically (on Thursday) whether I would like to discuss the whole matter in 3-4 days or you can cut it short and let there be a trust vote in two days. I agreed. Otherwise, where would it have led us? We were sure of the numbers but the BJP would have taken away some of our MLAs. I told court that it is unheard of that a governor gives 15 days in such a context,” Singhvi told HT in an interview, a more detailed version of which will be published on Monday.
On Friday, the top court asked Yeddyurappa to face a trust vote by 4 pm on Saturday.
For the Congress, this “victory” in Karnataka comes after reverses in state like Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya, where, despite emerging as the single largest party in the legislatures, the BJP was able to form the government with post-poll allies.
“The Supreme Court’s order has put paid to all possible attempts of over-adventurist political acrobatics which had become almost a norm,” Singhvi said. He described what happened in the Karnataka assembly on Saturday as “personally very enthusing and reinvigorating”.
“But above all that, I can sense a feeling of positivity. We were able to give the opponent a run for their money the moment the Supreme Court, against all odds, called us on the night (of Thursday) for hearing (on a petition to stop the swearing-in of Yeddyuprappa, which the court denied). I am not talking of results or consequences, the mere act of first evaluating the urgency of our petition and then holding the hearing changed the entire spirit and ambience both in Karnataka and here,” he said.
First Published: May 19, 2018 23:30 IST