Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has defended Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R. Vala's decision to administer oath to BJP legislature party leader B.S. 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.
In one of the rare incidents, the Supreme Court began hearing the plea at 1:45 am on Thursday.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi is appearing for Congress-JD(S) alliance, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta for Union government, while Rohatgi for the BJP.
The plea is being heard by a three-judge bench of Justice AK Sikri, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice SA Bobde.
Congress has contended that despite the alliance having 115 MLAs, they have 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 yesterday 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.
However, they are still short of the halfway mark of 112 by seven MLAs and have been given 15 days to prove their majority in the Karnataka assembly.
Whereas Congress-JD(S) alliance has the majority with 115 MLAs.