Bangalore: As uncertainty looms large over the survival of his government in the wake of threat by rebel MLAs, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, heading the first-ever BJP ministry in the south, is bracing himself for the crucial trust vote in the state Assembly on Sunday.
On the eve of the trial of strength, it is all the number game, claim and counter-claims by the ruling dispensation and the opposition particularly the JDS, which has now openly plunged into the "topple BJP government" campaign.
To ensure that the game of government toppling turns out to be a successful operation, JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy has been camping with about 18 BJP rebels in a Chennai hotel.
The BJP rebel camp now spearheaded by sulking and sacked ministers Balachandra Jarkiholi and Anand Asnotikar have declared that under no circumstance will they relent and vowed to defeat the motion of confidence to be moved by Yeddyurappa tomorrow.
As the numerical strength apparently not in favour of Yeddyurappa, the ruling side now is seemed to be banking on the Speaker KG Bopaiah to act on its petition seeking disqualification of 11 rebels.
The opposition Congress and JDS which are wary of the ploys of the ruling party, have already called on the Governor HR Bhardwaj and sought his intervention that the Speaker act in accordance with the rules and without bias.
The BJP is also pressing for disqualification of four MLAs from opposition parties who indulged in violent acts during the Speaker`s election last year to bring down the
strength of the opposition during the trust vote.
A delegation of opposition which met Bhardwaj yesterday have questioned the three-day-deadline notice issued by the speaker to 11 dissident MLAs seeking their replies by
this evening on the a complaint filed by Yeddyurappa seeking their disqualification under the provisions of anti-defection laws on October seven.
Rebels are required to appear before the Speaker by five pm today to offer their explanations to the notice, but however they have not only contested the notices, but also
sought seven days time to respond.
Sources close to Yeddyurappa said the chief minsiter is toying with various options including expulsion of rebels to win the vote of confidence and had been holding consultations with his ministerial colleagues and confidants at his home
Tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy, whose three-day hectic efforts to placate the rebels and win them over failed to yield results, claimed that Yeddyurappa will win the trust vote tomorrow.
BJP, Congress and JDS have issued whip to its legislators ahead of the trust vote. While BJP issued whip to its 116 MLAs and five independents to vote in favour of the motion to be moved by Yeddyurappa, the Congress and JDS have directed its 73 and 28 MLAs respectively to vote against the trust vote.
The independents have ridiculed the whip issued by the ruling party saying they were not bound by it.
Police have promulgated prohibitory ordes under section 144 CrPC in and around Vidhana Soudha from today to till tomorrow midnight as a precautionary measure.
The finding of some materials used for performing "black magic" near Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat, for the second time today has created flutter.
The government has ordered for closure of all gates leading to Vidhana Soudha barring that of the one in west side.
In the 224-member house, BJP has a strength of 117 including the Speaker, Congress 73, JDS 28, Independents six.
BJP has to muster a strength of 113 to stay in power and win the trust vote.
As the ruling and opposition parties engaged in mudslinging, claims and counter claims, the Governor has declared that he was watching the situation closely and his
decision is final.
The Congress which had ferried its MLAs outside the state is bringing them back today and keeping a vigil against being poaching in the wake of speculations that some of its members might indulge in cross voting tomorrow. Similar is the case of JDS which had already lost its Chennapatna MLA MC Ashwath to the BJP camp.
Meanwhile, Bhardwaj has forwarded to Bopaiah the letters submitted by the JDS and Congress delegation objecting to the slapping of notices against 11 BJP MLAs by the Speaker and directing them to appear before him to offer an explanation on October 10, a day ahead of the trust vote.
"Delegation of both the JDS and Congress met the Governor and submitted letters which have been forwarded to the Speaker", sources at the Governor`s office said.
Congress leaders, Siddaramaiah and RV Deshpande followed by MC Nanaiah of the JDS called on the Governor yesterday to express their resentment over the notice and had also sought the intervention of the Governor into the matter and to restrain the Speaker from disqualifying any member on any ground whatsoever till October 11.
Meanwhile, the chief minister held a meeting today withtop police officials to review the security arrangements for tomorrow in the context of the trust vote.