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Karnataka: Second trust vote may be a photo-finish for BJP

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 22:50

New Delhi: Though the BJP appeared confident
of proving its majority in the Karnataka assembly after the
High Court deferred its decision on disqualifications, the
numbers indicate that the ruling party is likely to make it
only with a razor-thin margin.

With Speaker K G Bopaiah disqualifying 11 rebel BJP MLAs
and five Independents, the effective strength of the
224-member Karnataka Assembly has been reduced to 208.
BJP needs 105 to prove its majority, the exact number of
MLAs that it claims to have at present. The Speaker can also
cast his vote in favour of the government in case of a tie.

However, it may not be smooth sailing for the BJP. One
of its MLAs -- Manappa Vaijjal -- did not attend the meeting
of party legislators with senior leaders at the residence of L
K Advani.

Karnataka BJP MLAs confirmed, pleading anonymity, that
Vaijjal was close to JD(S) and may ditch the party during the
crucial trust vote on October 14. However, efforts were on to
bring him around, sources said.

Today`s meeting was attended by only 100 of the 105 MLAs
whom Yeddyurappa claims to have on his side. But party leaders
claimed that four of those absent in the meeting had sent
messages and reasons for not being present.
The possibility of further `poaching` (though this will
lead to disqualification) of BJP MLAs by Congress and JD(S) is
not being ruled out with President`s Rule (followed by fresh
elections a few months down the line) looming large.

BJP leaders claimed they had won over two JD(S) MLAs to
their side and this would tilt the balance in their favour.

Shoba Karandlaje, minister and close associate of
Yeddyurappa, was confident of having the numbers.

"We are confident we will prove our majority on October
14. We have the numbers. Those who do not have support are
spreading rumours that we are going to lose," she said.


First Published: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 22:50
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