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Congress moves SC after Karnataka Governor’s decision to invite BJP to form government

May 16, 2018

Congress is seeking a hearing in the Supreme Court on Wednesday night itself on its petition against Karnataka governor.

Rahul Gandhi on BJP CM
Rahul Gandhi

On Wednesday, the Congress moved the Supreme Court against the Karnataka governor’s decision to invite BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa to form the govt. in Karnataka.

Congress is seeking a hearing in the Apex Court on Wednesday night itself on its petition against Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision, Congress leader & lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi told PTI.

Earlier it had been reported that the Congress may take such a course if the governor doesn’t invite its post-election ally HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular) to form the new govt. in the state.

“In case, the governor does not call us, we believe that it’s a strong case to go to the Supreme Court,” one of the party’s senior legal adviser had said earlier.

People within the Congress had added that its top legal brains such as Singhvi, Kapil Sibal & Vivek Tankha may be roped in to challenge any “adverse” decision of governor Vajubhai Vala.

The Congress lent unconditional support to former PM HD Deve Gowda’s son to form the government in the state where a hung assembly has emerged with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the largest party with 104 seats.

The Congress won 78 seats & the JD(S) 37, & they said they have the numbers to run the 224-member House. The bloc also claimed the support of 2 independent candidates & an MLA of the Bahujan Samaj Party, which is an ally of Deve Gowda’s party.

Singhvi tweeted on Wednesday, “Denial by govnor 2cong JDS after assertion of joint numbers wld b illegal,unctal & contrary to(1) kavlekar judgement of Goa by SC(2) Sarkaria Comm (3) rule that single party rule inapplicable where anr combination has more numbers(4) against KR Narayanan, Goa, manipur precedents (sic).”

Ironically, the Congress counsels may cite the SC’s verdict on the Goa government formation — which went against the Congress itself — to argue their case in Karnataka.

Last year, the BJP had quickly formed a post-poll coalition & claimed the CM’s chair after the Goa election even as the Congress emerged as the largest party but fell short of a majority.

Goa governor Mridula Sinha invited the coalition to form the government, ignoring the Congress’ claim that the largest party should be given the first chance to show its strength.

The bench comprising the then CJI JS Khehar, Justice RK Agrawal & Justice Ranjan Gogoi rejected the Congress’ arguments & asked for a quick floor test. The court also ruled that since the Congress didn’t demonstrate its numbers, the governor was free to apply “discretionary powers”.

“When no political party is in majority, then it is the bounden duty of the governor to see who can form the government. If nothing happens, then the governor is duty-bound to call the leader of the single largest party but if someone goes to the governor with a list of supporters, then it is a different issue altogether,” the bench said.

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