The countdown to the crucial floor test in the Karnataka Assembly, to be held on Monday, has begun, but the week-old BJP government does not appear too worried.
Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa needs the support of partner JD(S) to continue in power, but some BJP leaders say poll-wary JD(S) legislators may just break party ranks to join the government.
The JD(S) is led by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and his decision will be conveyed to the MLAs an hour ahead of the trial.
Central BJP leaders on Sunday said they were still counting on Yeddyurappa and the JD(S) MLAs to “secure” the floor test to avoid a mid-term poll.
“The JD(S) legislators have been opposed to facing fresh elections. If Yeddyurappa loses the test, polls are inevitable. Therefore, we expect they will break their party ranks to vote for the government if JD(S) decides to abstain or vote against,” said a BJP functionary.
The partners dug in their heels on respective stands over signing a “Working Agenda” a modified version of the 12-point MoU authored by Gowda. A meeting of the JD(S) legislature party insisted on signatures by Yashwant Sinha, the BJP leader in-charge of Karnataka, and Yeddyurappa ahead of tomorrow’s vote of confidence. But the BJP leaders said they would consider these “suggestions” only after passing the floor test.
Besides the “Working Agenda”, the partners also agreed to disagree on two key portfolios — Urban Development and Mines and Geology. The JD(S) insisted on these two files as well as a commitment to keep former Tourism Minister B Sriramulu out of the ministry.
Sriramulu had filed a complaint of attempt to murder against former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy in Bellary in September, and was forced to quit. Yeddyurappa, however, said his party would not approve of any such conditions.
Yeddyurappa and Kumaraswamy held an hour-long meeting this afternoon and told reporters that some “minor issues” were sorted out.“We met because we had some minor differences. We will provide good governance,” Kumaraswamy said. Yedyurappa said: “We will complete our term of 19 months. I am confident that Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy will support us in the Assembly tomorrow.”