New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday hit out at the BJP over its 'irrational insistence' to form government in Karnataka despite 'not having the numbers.
In his first public comment over the dramatic developments that took place in the state after the assembly election threw up a hung verdict, Gandhi tweeted, "This morning, while the BJP celebrates its hollow victory, India will mourn the defeat of democracy."
Congress leaders on Thursday staged a protest in front of the Gandhi statue next to the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat, against the swearing-in of Yeddyurappa.
Several senior Congress leaders, including former chief minister Siddaramaiah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, Mallikarjuna Kharge, party's general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal, sat at the foot of the statue, staging the protest.
The newly-elected Congress legislators, who are staying at a resort on the city outskirts, also joined the protest.
Janata Dal (Secular) legislators and leaders will also be joining the agitation soon, party sources said.
Speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah termed as 'unprecedented' governor Vajubhai Vala's decision to grant 15 days time to Yeddyurappa for proving majority in the assembly.
He said Yeddyurappa would now have to furnish the list of MLA's supporting him immediately.
Yeddyurappa was administered the oath of office and secrecy by the governor at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan amid loud cheering by his supporters.
Earlier on Thursday, the Supreme Court refused to stay the swearing-in after a rare post-midnight courtroom battle unfolded dramatically over the Congress-JD(S) combine's legal push to stall government formation.
Midnight battle in SC
The apex court, which commenced the hearing at 2.11 am and ended at 5.28 am, however made it clear that the swearing-in and the government formation in the state would be subject to the final outcome of the case before it.
Yeddyurappa has 15 days to prove his majority in the assembly. The BJP has 104 MLAs in the House, eight short of the magic figure of 112. On the other hand, the Congress and JD(S), which have already announced post-poll tie-up, have won 78 and 37 seats, respectively.
Launching a fusillade against Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala after he invited the BJP to form the government in the state, the Congress had yesterday dubbed him a 'stooge' of the NDA major and accused him of 'encountering' Constitution at the behest of prime minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.
Read more: Latest on Karnataka politics