With Karnataka governor HR Bharadwaj camping in Delhi a day after the Supreme Court overturned the disqualification of 16 Karnataka MLAs by the Speaker on the eve of the October trust vote, alarm bells have again begun to ring for embattled Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.
"I have been vindicated," Bharadwaj told the media after meeting the prime minister on Saturday. "There is a stricture against the chief minister and the Speaker (in the Supreme Court ruling). I have to see the judgment. I had told the Speaker not to disturb party positions. I will first hear what the Karnataka government has to say (before taking a call)."
The Opposition JD(S) and the Congress were quick to demand the resignation of Yeddyurappa, saying that he had lost the moral right to stay CM after having abused the office of the Speaker to wrongfully secure a majority.
In the 224-member Karnataka assembly, the Opposition's strength is 97 (71 Congress MLAs and 26 Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs). The half-way mark is, however, 113, which means that the opposition would need all the rebels to join hands with them to secure a wafer-thin majority and topple the government in the event of a floor-test.
It is this that the opposition has to take a call on, though there was buzz that the Karnataka Congress was looking at demanding a floor-test.
The BJP on its part claimed it was confident the government would stay. Their logic: since the disqualification had been overturned, 11 out of the 16 "rebel" MLAs were after all BJP MLAs. A close aide of the CM told HT a rebel MLA had made a public statement that he would meet the CM and the party high command, claiming that this suggested a breaking of the ice so far as the rebellion was concerned.
The BJP would work to break a section of the 16 rebels MLAs - 11 from BJP and 5 Independents - as its tally has already gone up from 106 to 109 by its by-poll victories on Friday.