*Floor test by 4 pm tomorrow, rules SC; *Speaker to decide on type of voting
In a major setback for the BJP in Karnataka, the Supreme Court today ordered a floor test by 4 pm tomorrow to decide if BS Yeddyurappa has the requisite numbers to rule the state.
While the BJP pleaded for one week time, senior Congress lawyer Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal for the JD(S) argued that more the time, more the chances for horse trading.
Though the three bench court did not go in to the aspect of possibility of horse trading, it ruled that the floor test should be held as early as possible for a healthy democracy to survive.
The BJP may be in a spot as the Congress whisked their MLAs by bus to Hyderabad. All the MLAs were denied access to their phones, TV and newspapers. The BJP is in not position to contact them prior to voting. The Congress MLAs may be flown in to Bengaluru only a few hours before the trust vote is to take place.
While the BJP wanted voice vote to take place, the Congress pressed for a division. But the court ruled that it will be upto the speaker to decide on the type of voting process.
Even on this count the Congress found to be in an advantageous position as the protem speaker may be RV Deshpande considering his seniority.
The Congress camp in Karnataka and Delhi were jubilant and expressed confidence to throw out Yeddyurappa and the BJP out of power.
The Congress said Yeddyurappa will hold the record of being the shortest duration CM in the state.
The Court also ruled that Yeddyurappa cannot take any policy decision.
Singhvi called the ruling historic and said the letter produced by Yeddyurappa did not have any details.
But BJP’s senior leader in charge of Karnataka and union minister Prakash Javedkar said the party has the numbers and is confident of sailing through in the Assembly.
There was a lot of kite-flying in Bengaluru with the BJP claiming that it is in touch with 12-13 Lingayat MLAs and the Congress saying 5-6 BJP MLAs are ready to switch sides.