Bengaluru: Midnight drama ensued in the Supreme Court on Wednesday over Karnataka assembly polls as the apex court was hearing a petition early this morning filed by Congress and JD(S) challenging the governor's decision to invite BS Yeddyurappa to form a new government in the state. After a marathon 4-hour hearing by a 3-judge bench, comprising justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan of the SC refused to stay the swearing-in of BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa as Chief Minister of Karnataka. The apex court, however, made it clear that the swearing-in and the government formation will be subject to the final outcome of the case before it.

In a petition filed by the two parties late last night, they sought to stay the swearing-in of Yeddyurappa. Supreme Court also directed that the letter sent by the BJP to the governor for forming the government be placed before it. The apex court also issued notices to the Karnataka government and Yeddyurappa and posted the matter for further hearing tomorrow.

The Governor Vajubhai Vala had last evening invited Yeddyurappa to form a new government in the state. The Governor also asked Yeddyurappa to seek a vote of confidence within 15 days of assuming office on the floor of the house. Briefing reporters in Bengaluru, BJP General Secretary Muralidhar Rao said, Yeddyurappa got the official communication from the governor and he will take oath at 9 this morning.

BJP had won 104 seats in the Assembly elections in the 224-member House and emerged as the single largest party but fell short of majority. The Governor's move is a setback for the JD(S) and Congress that approached the Governor with the signature of over 117 MLAs. Congress had bagged 78 seats, while JD(S) along with its alliance partner BSP, won 38 seats.