* BJP legislature party leader B S Yeddyurappa was today sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka for a second time, after an overnight high-voltage legal battle in the Supreme Court which refused to stay his swearing-in. Yeddyurappa has 15 days to prove his majority in the state assembly.

* Senior Congress leaders and MLAs camped outside the Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru to protest against Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as chief minister. Former CM Siddaramaiah, Rajya Sabha MP Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, Mallikarjuna Kharge, K C Venugopal and others sat at the foot of the Gandhi statue staging the ‘dharna’. JD(S) leaders will also be joining the agitation, party sources told PTI.

* Congress MP D K Suresh said all party MLAs, with the exception of Anand Singh were present at the protest outside the Vidhan Soudha. “He (Singh) is in the clutches of Narendra Modi,” Suresh told ANI.

Lending credence to this stunning allegation was JD(S) Karnataka unit chief H D Kumaraswamy, who related a conversation he’d had with a Congress lawmaker. “Modi government is misusing institutions of central government. I know they are threatening MLAs. Anand Singh (Congress MLA) told ‘they are using ED, I had a case in ED and they are going to screw me. I’m sorry I have to protect my interest,'” Kumaraswamy said.

* In his first public comment over the dramatic developments following the Karnataka election results, Congress president Rahul Gandhi hit out at the BJP over its “irrational insistence” to form government despite “not having the numbers”. He added that while the BJP celebrats its hollow victory in the southern state, the nation as a whole will mourn the defeat of democracy.

* Lashing out at Rahul, BJP president Amit Shah said democracy was murdered the moment “desperate” Congress made an “opportunist” offer to the JD(S) to form the government in Karnataka for “petty political gains”.

* Challenging Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to invite BJP to form government in the state, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani moved the Supreme Court today seeking the Chief Justice’s permission to intervene in the case in his personal capacity.

“It is a case of blatant and gross abuse of power by the governor and Vajubhai Vala has brought disgrace to the office of governor by inviting BJP to form government in Karnataka,” Jethmalani told TOI.

* Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had refused to stall the swearing-in of Yeddyurappa as Karnataka chief minister at a rare midnight hearing. The top court heard a joint petition by the Congress and JD(S) challenging governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision inviting Yeddyurappa to form a new government in the state despite having 104 MLAs — eight short of simple majority.

* However, the court did not outright reject the petition and posted the matter for further hearing on Friday. It issued notices to Yeddyurappa and the Karnataka government, and ordered placing before it the letter of support from MLAs presented by the BJP to governor Vajubhai Vala while staking claim to form the government. The three-judge apex court bench also made it clear that the swearing-in and the government formation would be subject to the final outcome of the case before it.

* The petition was filed late on Wednesday night after the governor invited Yeddyurappa for an oath taking ceremony on Thursday at 9am and gave him 15 days to prove his majority in the legislative assembly.

* The Congress and the JD(S), who formed a hurriedly stitched post-poll alliance after a hung assembly verdict to claim a majority of 116 members in the new assembly, had termed the governor’s decision “unconstitutional”.



Source