BJP President Rajnath Singh had asked Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to quit before the trust vote. Party sources said Singh had sent word through Karnataka BJP chief Sadanand Gowda that Yeddyurappa should not go ahead with the vote even if many JD(S) MLAs were willing to back him on the floor of the House.
Yeddyurappa had been working with his aides through the day to enlist the support of the JD(S) MLAs, who he believed were willing to defy H.D. Deve Gowda's whip to defeat the CM in the House. In fact, Yeddyurappa was confident things would become clear by 6 p.m., when the voting took place.
The BJP chief, however, was of the opinion that any “manipulation” at this stage would only bring diminishing returns, the sources said. The BJP would not be able to retain the “popularity and sympathy” it has gained since October 3, when the JD(S) failed to keep its end of the bargain and refused to hand over power. Moreover, most of the BJP’s parliamentary board members shared Singh's view that any understanding with the JD(S) was doomed from the start due to Deve Gowda's “recalcitrant” mood.
Yeddyurappa, who chose to remain optimistic even when the JD(S) legislature party decided to vote against his government, finally resigned minutes before the trust vote.
Hinting at the fact that the BJP was never truly convinced that its ally would keep its word, Singh's aides recalled that when Yeddyurappa and H.D. Kumaraswamy had first come up with the pact to rotate power for 20 months each last year, the BJP chief had insisted that the BJP take the first turn. Recently, he had warned the CM against Gowda's offer to join hands again and also told him that the former prime minister's demand for an MoU did not make sense when his party had failed to follow the old pact both in letter and in spirit.
But Yeddyurappa, anxious to become the BJP's first chief minister from the south, had told Singh and other sceptical central leaders that if the BJP didn’t try to make things work with the JD(S), Gowda would just go to the Congress.
Earlier in the day, Singh told reporters the JD(S) had once again betrayed the saffron party and that its decision to vote against the state government was a “blot on democracy”. He made it clear the BJP would not surrender at any cost. “The JD(S) had promised us unconditional support. It was not our initiative. It was the JD(S) who came to us to form the government. We are ready to go to the people and face elections. The developments in Karnataka are the worst form of coalition politics.”