BJP lawyer Mukul Rohatgi defends Karnataka Governor's decision to call Yeddyurappa first

Last Updated: Thu, May 17, 2018 08:47 hrs

New Delhi: Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has defended Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R Vala's decision to administer oath to BJP legislature party leader BS Yeddyurappa on Thursday morning at the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru.

"Governor has discretion to call largest party and he has done so. If single largest party won't be able to form government, other party will be called. In case of Goa elections, single largest party Congress had not presented its side, that's the difference," said Rohatgi, who is appearing for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the hearing of the petition filed by Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) challenging the Governor's decision.

The Supreme Court began hearing the plea at 1:45 am on Thursday, only the second instance of such a late-night hearing.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for Congress-JD(S) alliance, Attorney General KK Venugopal for the union government, and Rohatgi for the BJP.

The plea was heard by a three-judge bench of Justice AK Sikri, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice SA Bobde.

Congress had contended that despite the alliance having 115 MLAs, they had not been invited by the Governor to form the government and said the "Governor has shamed his office" by inviting the BJP to form the government.

The Karnataka Governor on Tuesday invited Yeddyurappa to form the government after it emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats. Along with one independent MLA, the BJP has staked the claim at forming the government.

The Supreme Court went on to refuse to stay the swearing-in of Yeddyurappa as Karnataka's new Chief Minister.

The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, though, did not dismiss the Congress-JD-S petition, saying it was subject to a hearing later on.

The court also issued a notice to Yeddyurappa, asking him to file a reply and asked Attorney General KK Venugopal to produce the letter of support submitted by Yeddyurappa to the Governor in court by Friday.

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