Bangalore: Karnataka on Monday appeared headed
for President`s rule with the state Governor recommending such
a step after Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa won a
controversial confidence vote in the Assembly following
disqualification of 16 MLAs.
The battle-lines were drawn more firmly after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, the first in the south, won the motion by a voice vote amid chaos.
Governor H R Bhardwaj is believed to have sent his
report to the Centre calling the events and the vote in
the Assembly as "unconstitutional" and "farce" and that the
state should be brought under President`s rule.
"The report has taken note of the way the confidence motion was passed by a voice vote on the floor of the house and the conduct of assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah," an official source here said.
He is understood to have noted that Speaker Bopiah`s
action in disqualifying 16 MLAs- 11 of BJP and 5
Independents- was unconstitutional and had vitiated the
Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily declared the Speaker’s action unconstitutional. "The speaker`s decision was partisan. He has acted in a manner that is unconstitutional. No notice was served to MLAs before disqualifying them. No procedure was followed. The legal, the constitutional procedure that you ought to follow before suspension or expulsion was bypassed," Moily told reporters here.
"Whatever happened in Karnataka, everybody should be
ashamed of it," he added.
The Union Cabinet is likely to meet tomorrow morning at 11am and consider the Governor`s report, as per a TV channel. The Union Home Ministry has expressed concern over developments in Karnataka, especially the "abuse" of the anti-defection law by the Speaker.
Home Ministry sources said there was no question of
disqualifying Independents under the 10th Schedule of the
Constitution or for that matter the dissident BJP MLAs even
before the vote.
Drama in Assembly
On a dramatic day of developments, the Speaker`s
decision to disqualify the dissident MLAs and ban their entry
into the House came early in the morning in an apparent move
to bring down the number required for the ruling party to
prove its majority. The MLAs in turn filed a writ petition before the High Court and the appeal is set to be heard tomorrow morning.
Amid scenes of pandemonium, Yeddyurappa moved the
confidence vote and "won" the trial of strength vote as high
marked the proceedings when Speaker K G Bopaiah declared the
motion of confidence passed by a voice vote.
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.
"Chief Minister Yeddyurppa proved majority on the floor of the house by voice vote, with 106 ruling legislators saying `yes` after Speaker Bopaiah convened the session at 10 am as directed by Governor," a legislative secretariat official told IANS.
Ddeclaring victory after the vote, CM Yeddyurappa alleged that Rs 20 crore to Rs 25 crore was paid to
dissident MLAs and that he would order a comprehensive
inquiry to expose this.
However, the opposition Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) lawmakers cried foul and rushed to Raj Bhavan to demand the dismissal of the 29-month-old government by the Governor. His colleague in New Delhi Manish Tiwari said developments in the state were "the complete murder of not only democracy but also constitutionalism as it stands in the country".
Congress core committee met in the evening in Delhi and discussed the developments in Karnataka.
Former Karnataka chief minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy ruled out joining hands with he Congress but said he would meet the Governor over the issue.
Numbers in House
The disqualification of 16 rebel legislators, 11 from the BJP and five Independents, by the speaker earlier in the day reduced the strength of the 225-member assembly to 208 and the half-way mark to prove majority in the house to 105.
One member is nominated from the Anglo-Indian community.
With the disqualification of 11 rebels, the strength of the ruling party too declined to 106, including the speaker, followed by the Congress with 73 and JD-S 28; the remaining are six Independents.
The speaker`s action comes in the wake of the dissident lawmakers withdrawing support to the government.
The 11 disqualified BJP rebels are excise minister M.P. Renukacharya, Gopalakrishna Beluru, Anand Ansnotikar, Balachandra Jarkiholi, B.N. Sarvabhouma, Bharamgowda Kage, Y. Sampangi, G.N. Nanjundaswamy, M. V Nagaraju, Shivan Gowda Nayak and H.S. Shankaralinge Gowda.
The five Independents are Shivaraj S. Tangadagi, Venkataramanappa, P.M Narayana Swamy, D. Sudhakar and Gulihatti Shekar.
Of the 16 disqualified rebels, eight, including three from the BJP and five independents were ministers who were sacked recently for revolting against the leadership.
Bopaiah disqualified the rebels after serving show-cause notices to each of them Oct 8 and seeking their replies by Sunday 5 pm
The speaker took the dramatic action ignoring the governor`s advice Sunday against disqualifying the rebel lawmakers.