Bangalore/Chennai: Uncertainty over the fate
of the BJP government in Karnataka grew on Sunday with the
Governor asking the Speaker not to disqualify any MLA before
the trust vote while 11 rebel party legislators held their
ground rallying behind JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy.
Embattled Chief Minister BS Yeddyruappa, already facing
the heat of Kumaraswamy`s machinations, appeared to face an
uphill task when Governor HR Bhardwaj stepped in and opened
another front when he directed Speaker KG Bopaiah to maintain
status quo on the House strength as on October 6 before the
rebels withdrew support reducing the government to a minority.
Following the Governor`s directive, Speaker KG Bopaiah has reserved his orders on a petition by Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa pleading that they
be disqualified from membership under anti-defection laws.
With the numbers game becoming very critical, the ruling
party will be still in minority being six short of the magic
mark of 113 on the basis of the existing strength and if the
11 BJP rebels and five independents stick to their stand.
Kumaraswamy said in Chennai his party and Congress would
work together to see the fall of the BJP government during the
crucial trust vote tomorrow.
Raj Bhavan sources said here that the Governor in
his letter to the Speaker directed that the strength of the
224-member Assembly which stood as on October 6 should be
maintained and that all legislators should be allowed to take
part in the confidence vote exercise.
The directive which effectively barred any action being
taken against any MLA came as a dampener to the ruling BJP,
which had been hoping to get a favourable order on
disqualification of 11 rebel MLAs, against whom Yeddyurappa
has filed a complaint under provisions of the anti-defection
law after they withdrew support to his government.
Bhardwaj in his letter said in the interest of a free
and fair floor test, no attempt should be made to change the
character or configuration of the house after it has been
summoned for the purpose.
"Any attempt to change the character or configuration of
the House in the run up to the vote of confidence motion, is
bound to vitiate the proceedings", he noted.
The Governor cautioned that "any result obtained by such
a vitiative proceedings will not be acceptable".
The first ever BJP government in the South, tottering
under revolt of the dissidents who have declared their intent
to go against the trust vote tomorrow, had been toying with
the idea of bringing down the effective strength of the House
to ensure a smooth sailing for itself during the trust vote.
Bhardwaj, in a clear warning, said if there was any
alteration in the numbers ignoring his directive, his decision
would be final.
He said the process of Yeddyurappa seeking the trust
vote tomorrow to prove his government`s majority as per his
direction should be held as per law.
In the 224-member House, BJP has 117 members, followed by
Congress 73, JDS 28 and Independents six.
A number of 113 is required to prove majority in the
House. The government was reduced to a minority after 14 BJP
MLAs and five Independents withdrew support. Three BJP MLAs
have since returned the party fold.
Sacked Fisheris Minister Anand Asnotikar claimed that
the dissident MLAs were all "united".
Kumaraswamy, who is in Chennai to hold parleys with
dissident BJP MLAs, told reporters, "Both JD(S) and Congress
are in the opposition. We are together going to defeat BJP."