It is strategy abstain, not Operation Lotus this time for BJP Karnataka
After a mid marathon hearing in the Supreme Court, B S Yeddyurappa was finally given the green-signal to take over the Chief Minister of Karnataka. This would however be subject to the petition filed by the Congress and JD(S), the court said while deciding to take up the matter on Friday.
There is hectic activity behind the scenes to ensure that the BJP cobbles up the numbers. The party is in touch with several MLAs and the fact that some of them are missing only adds fuel to the fire.
BJP sources tell OneIndia that some MLAs will join them soon once the swearing in is over. This time there would be no 'Operation Lotus' that played out in 2008. The plan would be to bring down the House strength and ensure that many MLAs abstain.
There was talk that the BJP would launch Operation Lotus in a bid to poach MLAs, but it has been frowned upon by the Central leadership which wants the fight to be within the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
The BJP needs 112 in the 222 member House in order to prove its majority. Sources say that there is a possibility of some Lingayat MLAs of the Congress backing the BJP. Sources say that at least 15 MLAs would abstain on the day Yeddyurappa has to prove his majority on the floor of the House. The Governor has given him 15 days time to do so.
Sources say that poaching the MLAs would be difficult since the anti defection law would come in the way. There is a possibility that the BJP may convince some disgruntled MLAs and ensure that they abstain during the floor test. This is also a possibility that is being discussed for now.
The other options being explored is to get at least 4 to 5 MLAs to resign. This would bring down the strength of the House and it would be easier to prove the majority. However this appears to be a harder option as it would be hard to convince freshly elected MLAs to resign. Sources say taking the abstain route would be the most feasible one for now.
If these factors do not work, then there is a chance that Yeddyurappa would face the House without the numbers and then take the Vajpayee route like he did in 2008.
For now the plan is to bring down the House strength to 208. If this happens then the BJP will need 105 to sail through.