Karnataka’s BJP govt survives, demands Governor’s recall

Amid dramatic scenes in the Karnataka Assembly, CM BS Yeddyurappa on Monday succeeded in proving majority in the truncated House.

Zeenews Bureau

Bangalore: Amid dramatic scenes in the Karnataka Assembly, Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on Monday succeeded in proving majority in the truncated House, even as the opposition Congress and JD(S) cried foul and said it all happened in too much of a hurry.

The confidence motion moved by the Yeddyurappa government was passed by a voice vote.

"Chief Minister BS Yeddyurppa proved majority on the floor of the House by voice vote, with 106 ruling legislators saying `yes` after Speaker KG Bopaiah convened the session at 10.00 am as directed by Governor HR Bhardwaj," a Legislative Secretariat official said.

The development effectively means the BJP’s first government in the South has managed to survive, at least for now.

However, the opposition Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular lawmakers cried foul and rushed to Raj Bhavan to demand the dismissal of the 29-month-old government by the Governor.

"It all happened so hurriedly in 5-10 minutes that nothing could be seen and heard properly in the house, as the Speaker asked the Chief Minister to move the confidence motion and the BJP legislators raised hands in support of the trust vote without allowing us to speak or hold debate," Congress legislative party leader Siddaramaiah told reporters.

Added HD Kumaraswamy, former chief minister and JD-S leader: "We are demanding immediate dismissal of the government. The trust vote was not conducted properly. The Speaker and Chief Minister ran away after announcing the voice vote."

The BJP however was defensive, with senior leader M Venkaiah Naidu saying that the Yeddyurappa government had the numbers to prove its majority in the Assembly and accused the Congress and the JD-S of playing "dirty tricks".

The party also accused Governor HR Bhardwaj of attempting to destabilise the government and asked the Centre to recall him.

"The Governor is acting like a leader of the opposition. He is encouraging Congress and JD-S. Ever since he assumed office of the Governor of the state, he has been trying to destabilise the BJP government," state unit BJP president KS Eswarappa charged at a press conference.

The trust vote win came amid pandemonium in the Assembly, after 16 rebel MLAs – including 11 from the ruling BJP – created ruckus at the complex after being disqualified by Speaker Bopaiah.

After staging protest outside the House along with JD(S) MLAs, the rebel MLAs stormed into the Assembly complex, pelted stones, broke window panes and assaulted marshals who tried to prevent them from entering the premises.

The police had to be called in to control the highly-explosive situation at the Assembly.

Within minutes after the motion was declared won by voice vote, the Speaker adjourned the House sine die and left the Assembly even as the Congress and JD-S legislators gathered near his podium and protested against the way the session was being conducted.

While disqualifying them, the Speaker had also barred the 16 MLAs from entering the House, thereby preventing them from participating in the trial of strength for the BJP government.

The Speaker had taken the decision to disqualify the rebel MLAs by going against the directive from the state Governor.

The Speaker`s action came early this morning but it remains to be seen what the Governor would do, now that the Chief Minister has succeeded in getting his confidence motion passed.

Governor Bhardwaj had yesterday directed the Speaker to maintain status quo on the House strength as on October 6 before the rebels withdrew support reducing the government to a minority.

The Governor had said in his letter to the Speaker that any decision that emerged in the House from a vitiated proceedings will not be acceptable to him.

However, the Speaker went ahead and signed the disqualification order after firing a strong missive to the Governor contesting his directive to him not to change the configuration of the House and maintain status quo on its strength as on October 6, Assembly Secretariat sources said.

The rebel MLAs had withdrawn support to the government on October 6.

In his order, Bopaiah said these 16 MLAs have been disqualified under the provision of the Anti-Defection Law as envisaged in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.

The BJP MLAs who have been disqualified include Balachandra Jarkiholi, Belur Gopala Krishna, Anand Asnotikar, Dr Sarvabowma Bagali, V Nagaraju, Raje Kage, Y Sampangi, Nanjundaswamy, SK Bellubbi, HS Shankara Lingegowda and Shivanagouda Naik.

Former ministers Venkataramanappa, Shivaraj Tangadagi, Goolihatti Sekhar and MP Narendraswamy and independent MLAs have also been disqualified.

With this action, Bopaiah brought down the strength in the 224-member Assembly to 208. The ruling party strength has been reduced to 106 from 117 and the opposition Congress and JDS have a combined strength of 101 (Congress 73 and JDS 28).

There is a lone independent Varthur Prakash in the House, besides a nominated Anglo Indian member.

(With PTI inputs)