Bengaluru: Sworn in as the Chief Minister of a minority government in Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa has a mere two weeks to close the gap between 104 and 112 – the magical mark and prove majority in the southern state.
Lawyer and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who urged the Supreme Court to hold off on B S Yeddyurappa's oath ceremony in an all-night hearing, called 15 days "licence to poaching" legislators and also claimed that Yeddyurappa had asked for seven days.
"There is only one way a party which got 104 will get 113... Elementary common sense and arithmetic against this kind of giving of time," Singhvi said.
People on social media echoed the same view, alleging that 15 days is "generous" for anyone trying to "buy" a majority.
It is not the first time that a political leader has got time to prove majority. In 1998, Congress' Jagdambika Pal got three days to prove his majority in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. In 2005, Shibu Soren of Jharkhand initially got 19 days but the Supreme Court reduced the time.
In 2017, the BJP got four days to prove its majority in Goa Assembly, where the Congress emerged the largest party but failed to come to power.
In the pre-dawn hearing on Thursday, three Supreme Court judges questioned: "Why give 15 days to prove majority?"
The Centre’s top lawyer said, "time to prove majority can be reduced to seven days."
The Congress and the Janata Dal Secular who formed an alliance and staked claim to power declaring a combined strength of 117, are preparing to "protect" their flock for the next 15 days.
On Wednesday evening, Congress MLAs were moved into Eagleton Resort near Bengaluru, the same place that hosted Gujarat Congress MLAs in 2017 during the Rajya Sabha polls. Meanwhile, JD(S) lawmakers spent the Wednesday night at Shangri-La hotel in Bengaluru. According to reports, both the parties are mulling to fly their MLAs out of Karnataka to a resort in Kerala.
Targeting Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala over the 15-day time given to B S Yeddyurappa to prove majority, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted, “Governor invites B S Yeddyurappa to manufacture a majority in 15 days. Governor gives Yeddyurappa 15 days to convert the number 104 into 111."