In a dramatic twist that exacerbates the swirling controversy over the Karnataka Governor, the Congress party will move the Supreme Court and seek an urgent hearing over the appointment of a BJP MLA as pro tem speaker, sources have confirmed.
(KG Bopaiah being sworn-in as Karnataka Governor)
The development mirrors that which was witnessed on Wednesday night as the Congress had approached the CJI with a petition that sought to declare void the invitation issued by the Karnataka Governor to BJP's BS Yeddyurappa to take oath as the chief minister of the state.
The Congress' contention is that its MLA, RV Deshpande, who is an eight-term-legislator, should have been appointed as pro tem speaker as he is senior to KG Bopaiah who took his oath shortly before 4 pm on Friday and is a three-time MLA.
Addressing a briefing over the events of the morning in the Supreme Court where Yeddyurappa was ordered to prove his majority on the floor of the house on Saturday at 4 pm (two weeks earlier than the time allotted to him by the Governor), Congress' Abhishek Manu Singhvi had put forth that it is the senior-most MLA in the Assembly, irrespective of party or affiliation, who must be appointed pro tem speaker.
However, the BJP's contention is that Bopaiah is the right pick as he has earlier been both pro tem speaker and elected Assembly speaker in the past.
As per Republic TV's sources, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) will decide will hear which bench will hear the new Congress plea as the three-judge bench of Justices Sikri, Bobde and Bhushan, is not available.
The fact that a BJP MLA has taken oath as Karnataka pro tem Speaker is crucial as in the case of a tie in the floor test, the Speaker will cast the tie-breaker vote.