BS Yeddyurappa resigned two days after assuming the office of the Chief Minister of Karnataka. He has submitted his resignation to the Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Vala.
The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the Attorney General 48 hours to produce the two letters written by the newly sworn-in Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to the Governor staking his claim to form a government. The top law officer has to procure the documents from the Governor and produce them before the court on May 18 at 10.30 a.m.
The letters, dated May 15 and May 16, are the major focus of the Governor’s invitation on May 16 evening to Mr. Yeddyurappa to form a government the next morning itself. A three-judge Bench, led by Justice A.K. Sikri, wants to vet the contents of the letters - basically to check whether the Governor’s decision to invite Mr. Yeddyurappa was an informed one. In other words, the court wants to check whether Mr.Yedyurappa gave sufficient material to the Governor for the latter to have reasonably felt that the BJP leader is the best option and not the post poll Congress-JD(S) combine.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi has voiced a complaint about how the Governor gave the Chief Minister over 15 days to prove his majority on the floor of the Assembly. Yeddyurappa asked for only seven days’ time Mr. Singhvi indicates that Mr. Yeddyurappa asked for only seven days’ time but the Governor “genereously” gave him 15 days. The ample time may see “horse-trading” on the part of the BJP to gain the numbers. One of the possibilities is that the court would advance the date for a floor test and leave the party with the most number of members to form a government. The BJP has 104 members while the Congress and the JD(S) jointly have 117 members, which is well past the majority mark.
If after the floor test, Mr. Yeddyurappa is unable to prove his majority, it would be incumbent on the part of the Governor to invite the combination of Congress and the JD(S) to form a government. Under the Sarkaria Commission report of 1988, if the single largest party fails, the next in the pecking order is a post poll alliance. This is the formula endorsed by the Supreme Court in several judgments. Besides, Mr. Singhvi has asked whether the Karnataka Governor had taken into consideration the fact that Sarkaria Commission required the largest single party to have the support of other parties, including “Independents”, in order for them to gain priority over a post poll alliance to form a government.
Ironically, Mr Yeddyurappa resigned on Saturday!
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