The political drama in Karnataka intensified on Saturday after Congress released audio clips accusing BJP of trying to lure its MLAs before the crucial trust vote in the House. In one of the audio clips released by the Congress Chief Minister Yeddyurappa is purportedly heard offering ministry to Congress leader BC Patil. Minutes later, the party released another clip allegedly featuring BJP MLA Sreeramulu and BC Patil.
Congress demanded secret ballots
Around 2pm in the afternoon Congress put forth a demand for secret voting in front of the Protem Speaker K G Bopiah. Bopaih had earlier decided that each MLA’s name would be mentioned with their vote in order to maintain transparency. The Congress on Friday had opposed BJPs demand for secret ballots.
Section 144 imposed in and around Assembly
Meanwhile, Bengaluru police had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC, prohibiting assembly of five or more persons 1 km in and around the secretariat to maintain law and order for the day-long session. As directed by the Supreme Court, security has also been provided to all the legislators participating in the floor test at 4 p.m. “We have deployed five Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs), 20 Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs), 40 inspectors and 2,000 constables around the venue to prevent any untoward incident,” Additional Commissioner of Police B.K. Singh told reporters earlier. The police had also banned processions or rallies by the cadres and supporters of the BJP, Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) in the area, reported IANS.
Congress released an audio, accusing Sriramulu of luring its MLA
Karnataka MLAs took oath in Assembly
Ahead of the Karnataka floor test, the Assembly session started with the singing of the national song, Vande Mataram, following which Pro-Tem Speaker K G Bopaiah welcomed and congratulated the members elected to the 15th Assembly and started administering the oath to them. In the Assembly, Bopaiah read out the procedures to be followed during the oath taking of the members. Yeddyurappa took the oath first, followed by Congress Legislature Party leader and his predecessor Siddaramaiah. Then the other members started taking oath in batches of five one after the other.
The Supreme court’s verdict
The Congress which stitched an alliance with JDS to keep BJP at bay claims to have 116 seats in the currently 222-member Assembly. The BJP, which is the single largest party with 104 seats, but fell short of the 112-seat majority was invited by Governor Vajubhai Vala to form the government. The Congress had challenged the decision and in a rare overnight hearing the Supreme Court refused to stall the swearing-in but said that the government formation in the state would, however, be subject to the final outcome of the case before it.
Congress lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on live proceeding. “Most important objective was to establish transparency. Since the statement has come from ASG that live feed of proceedings would be given, we hope & trust there would be fairness. I have no doubt that the victory would be of Congress and JD(S),” Sanghvi was reported saying.