Congress, JD-S protest Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as Karnataka CM

Congress, JD-S protest Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as Karnataka CM

Bengaluru, May 17 (IANS) The beleaguered Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leaders on Thursday staged a protest against BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as the Karnataka Chief Minister, terming it unconstitutional.

Leaders of the Congress and JD-S, who had hastily stitched a post-poll alliance, staged the protest in front of the state legislature building soon after Yeddyurappa was administered the oath of office by Governor Vajubhai R. Vala at the Raj Bhavan.

“Constitutionally, we (JD-S and Congress) should have been given the chance to form the government as we together have the majority in the assembly.

“This decision by the Governor to invite the Bharatiya Janata Party to form the government is against the Constitution,” state unit Congress chief G. Parameshwara told reporters here.

Among the leaders protesting were former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, along with several newly-elected legislators from both the Congress and JD-S.

Speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah said: “Yeddyurappa first needs to furnish the list proving his majority in the House.”

JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda also joined the protest. The party’s state president H.D. Kumaraswamy attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for “demolishing” the democracy.

“Modi government wants to demolish democracy by targeting the opposition parties. When the JD-S and Congress have a majority, we weren’t invited by the Governor to form the government,” Kumaraswamy said.

Venugopal alleged that Yeddyurappa being directed by the Governor to prove his majority on the floor of the House within 15 days was “only to allow horse-trading”.

“Fifteen days were granted by the Governor only to allow BJP to indulge in horse-trading. If the BJP has a majority, two days are enough to prove it. The BJP is trying to poach MLAs,” he said.

Rahul terms Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in ‘mockery of Constitution’

New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday termed the swearing-in of BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa as Karnataka Chief Minister a ‘mockery’ of Constitution after his party failed to garner a majority in the state assembly.

Yeddyurappa took oath as the Chief Minister in Bengaluru on Thursday hours after the Supreme Court declined to stay his swearing-in ceremony.

“The BJP’s irrational insistence that it will form a government in Karnataka, even though it clearly does not have the numbers, is to make a mockery of our Constitution,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

“This morning, while the Bharatiya Janata Party celebrates its hollow victory, India will mourn the defeat of democracy,” he added.

Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to Yeddyurappa at 9 a.m. at the Raj Bhavan amid tight security.

Earlier, a three-judge bench of the apex court rejected a joint writ petition of the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) to stall the swearing-in at a special pre-dawn hearing.

Although the top court said the swearing-in was subject to the final outcome of the matter before it and posted the case for further hearing at 10.30 a.m. on Friday.

It also sought the letter Yeddyurappa wrote to the Governor on Wednesday informing him his election as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s legislature party leader in Karnataka.

On Thursday, Congress leader and former Finance Minister P.Chidambaram tweeted saying Yedyurappa’s letter to the Governor will ‘seal his fate’.

“Yedyurappa’s letter to the Governor will seal his fate. There is no mention of a number bigger than 104. The Governor’s invitation does not mention any number at all!” he wrote on the site.

“I salute the Supreme Court. If I were Yeddyurappa, I will not take oath until the hearing at 10.30 am on Friday,” he added.

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