Karnataka CM braces for verdict on 5 Independents | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Karnataka CM braces for verdict on 5 Independents

BJP president Nitin Gadkari is still solidly backing BS Yeddyurappa over the issue of land scams but the Karnataka chief minister is bracing for another cliffhanger for his government.

delhi Updated: Feb 13, 2011 01:54 IST
Shekhar Iyer

BJP president Nitin Gadkari is still solidly backing BS Yeddyurappa over the issue of land scams but the Karnataka chief minister is bracing for another cliffhanger for his government.

On Monday, a three-judge bench of the high court will deliver a verdict on the validity of the suspension of 5 Independent MLAs by Speaker KG Bopaiah.

Last year when 16 MLAs — including 11 from the ruling BJP — rebelled, the Speaker suspended them citing the anti-defection law. That helped BSY prove his majority as the total number of MLAs got reduced.

While the case of the 5 Independents is in high court, that of the 11 BJP MLAs is in Supreme Court.

Now, if the high court revokes the suspension of these 5 MLAs, the strength of the House will go up to 213. The BJP will need 107 MLAs to show it has majority, and, at present, BSY has the support of 105 MLAs.

Though the Speaker will vote in case of a tie, the chief minister will still need to garner the support of two more MLAs to survive. The buzz is Varthur Prakash, an independent who had voted in their favour during the last trust vote, will do so again.

BSY’s strategists may press for the Speaker to act on the notice served to 8 MLAs for unruly behaviour, which has been kept in abeyance. If the Speaker suspends these MLAs for one year for disrupting proceedings of the House, as recommended by a House panel, they will not be able to participate in a trust vote.

BSY, who will complete 1,000 days in office on February 20, is also worried about a special court, which is hearing arguments about the admissibility of a land scam case against him after Governor HR Bhardwaj granted sanction to prosecute him on “complaints” about a land scam.

The new crisis before BSY has sparked speculation among leaders that he may dissolve the House after the budget session on February 24.

State BJP chief KS Eswarappa dismissed as mere speculation that the state was headed towards mid-term polls. “There’s no change of guard. We will work unitedly under BSY for the next two years.”