Hearing the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) challenge to the appointment of KG Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker, the Supreme Court says it can’t pass an order without hearing him. As the hearing continues in the Supreme Court, preparations are in full swing for the Assembly floor test in the Karnataka. CM Yeddyurappa, his antecedent Siddaramaiah and all the MLAs from their respective parties, have arrived at the Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru. Bopaiah is present to oversee the arrangements. Suspense is building up over Congress MLA Anand Singh who has been incommunicado, with the Congress saying he will be present for the floor test in Karnataka Assembly at 4 pm. Confident of winning the crucial floor test in Karnataka Assembly, Yeddyurappa has asked his Party members to be ready for celebrations after 5 pm and said he would announce important policy decisions tomorrow.
Later on Friday, Supreme Court Chief Justice Dipak Misra decided to list the matter before the three-judge bench, comprising Justice AK Sikri, Justices SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, at 10:30 am, much ahead of the trust vote at 4 pm. In the application, the BJP-JD(S) have demanded setting aside of the decision to appoint BJP MLA Bopaiah as pro tem Speaker saying it was contrary to the tradition, as per which the post goes to the senior-most legislator of the Assembly. It termed the Governor’s action as a “brazen unconstitutional” act to appoint “a junior MLA as the pro tem Speaker. The application also seeks certain urgent directions to ensure that the floor test is conducted in a fair and transparent manner.”
In the Karnataka cliffhanger drama where one MLA switching sides could make or break government formation, all the political parties are taking no chances. The eye for detail and meticulous planning is evident in the choice of the travel services selected to ferry MLAs before the floor test. For politicians of every hue, there is a premium on loyalty. Even in the choice of the bus service deployed to ferry MLAs, the Congress and JD(S) leaders have fallen back upon people with impeccable track record and loyalty to the party. The Congress has assigned the duty of transport of their MLAs to their long-time loyalist late D P Sharma’s bus services. The Congress and the JD(S) MLAs are travelling only in Sharma buses.