Karnataka coalition looks to dish up the numbers as rebels play hide and seek
Bengaluru, July 14: The BJP would press for a trust vote in Karnataka on Monday. The coalition will however try and buy more time in a bid to pacify the rebel MLAs.
However, everything would depend on the Supreme Court hearing on Tuesday, which will decide on a plea filed by the rebel MLAs seeking a directive to the Speaker to decide on their resignations early. In the meantime, five more rebels have moved the Supreme Court seeking similar relief.
For the Congress and JD(S), there was some relief as rebel MLA, M T B Nagrah said that he was ready to withdraw his resignation. He however said that his decision would depend on what another rebel, K Sudhakar would do.
If the resignations of all the 16 rebels is accepted, then the strength of the coalition stands at 101.
The government would have to go from 101 to 108 to get past the BJP, which now has 107 MLAs.
According to sources, at the Business Advisory Committee meeting on Friday Kumaraswamy had proposed that the trust vote be held on Wednesday.
However, no decision was taken as the principal opposition BJP did not attend the meeting.
The coalition government, which has been shaky since it came into being last year after a post-poll arrangement in the wake of a hung verdict, is facing a serious crisis now with 16 MLAs -- 13 of the Congress and three of the JD(S) -- resigning their assembly membership.
Besides, two independent legislators, who were made ministers recently to provide stability to the government, have quit the ministry and withdrawn support.
Pointing out that Kumaraswamy has clearly lost majority with the resignation of 16 MLAs and two independents withdrawing support, Yeddyurappa said it was better for him to resign and allow a new government to take over to work for the people of the state.
"The Chief Minister himself has said in the Assembly that without the support of MLAs, he would not like to continue and hence would be moving a motion seeking trust vote.
"Let us wait till Monday, if he is going to move confidence motion we have no objection. We will wait till Monday," he added.
The Supreme Court, hearing a petition by ten of the 16 rebel MLAs, had on Friday restrained Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar from taking any decision till next Tuesday on the resignation and disqualification of the legislators.
Yeddyurappa said, along with ten MLAs, five more MLAs- MTB Nagaraj, K Sudhakar, Munirathana, R Roshan Baig and Anand Singh-- have also moved the Supreme Court regarding delay in acceptance of their resignation by the Speaker, and it may also be taken up by the court on Tuesday.
To a question about the Congress trying to persuade rebel Congress MLA Nagaraj to withdraw his resignation, the BJP leader said when the legislator himself has moved the apex court and when the plea has been admitted, "I dont think he will go back".
"Some people may have tried to put pressure. I heard that D K Shivakumar (Congress Minister) was at his residence since 5 am. I feel that as they have produced affidavit before the Supreme Court, Nagraj or Sudhakar cannot go back and they will not go back," he added.
With Congress intensifying efforts to woo back its disgruntled MLAs Saturday, Nagraj has hinted that he might consider withdrawing his resignation and also said he would try to persuade others.
Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa visited his party MLAs who are camped at a resort on the outskirts of the city.
He held discussions with the MLAs on the current political developments and had lunch with them, party sources said.
The BJP on Friday had decided to move its MLAs to the resort near here amid fears of poaching bid by the ruling Congress-JD(S) combine after Chief Minister announced he would seek a trust vote in the assembly.
Earlier, Yeddyurappa termed Kumaraswamys decision to seek trust vote as a "conspiracy" to halt further exodus of coalition MLAs.
"Chief Minister Kumaraswamys statement seeking trust vote is part of systematic conspiracy to stop more people (MLAs) from quitting due to confusion within the Congress-JD(S). So, there is no meaning for seeking trust vote. Let him show the courage and do it.
"We will welcome it. The atmosphere is favourable for us. It is certain that this government will collapse in few days," he asserted.
The ruling coalition's total strength is 116 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37 and BSP-1), besides the Speaker.
With the support of the two independents, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113.
If the resignations of the 16 MLAs are accepted, the coalition's tally will be reduced to 101.