Karnataka trust vote: Here are the three possibilities that one could expect
The crucial Karnataka trust vote is set to be held on Saturday at 4 pm. The BJP has 104 while the Congress and JD(S) have claimed the support of 116. The magic number in the House in 111 since elections to two assembly constituencies have been postponed and H D Kumaraswamy is holding two seats. The total strength of the House including Kumaraswamy's two seats is 222.
The BJP would be hoping that some MLAs on the other sides abstain. There are a host of possibilities in the run up to the trust vote which will be conducted by newly appointed pro-tem Speaker, K G Bopaiah of the BJP. Let us examine them.
MLAs resign ahead of trust vote:
Some MLAs could resign ahead of the trust vote on the floor of the House. This means they would no longer be MLAs. This would not invite any disqualification law or they won't be bound by the anti-defection law. In case the MLAs resign then the strength of the House would come down and the BJP would need a smaller number to prove its strength.
MLAs abstain or cross vote:
The MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) could abstain. Abstaining could be either by not attending the assembly or not taking part in the trust vote. There have been instances when MLAs have walked out of the House just as the trust vote begins. In such an event, the house strength comes down again. However these MLAs would be subject to disqualification as they would have disobeyed the party whip. These MLAs could then go up to the courts challenging the disqualification. In such an event the aggrieved parties could also approach the Governor who in turn could order for a fresh process.
What if BJP loses trust vote:
If the BJP does not pass the floor test, then the second largest party would have to approach the Governor seeking an invite to form the government. The Governor would then give the party a date to hold a fresh floor test. In case the second floor test is also defeated, then another test could be recommended. More often than not in such a scenario President's rule is imposed. In the interim any party can again approach the Governor citing numbers. In case any party fails to do so, then fresh elections would be ordered.