Governor for President's rule as BJP wins trust vote | india | Hindustan Times
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Governor for President's rule as BJP wins trust vote

india Updated: Oct 11, 2010 20:00 IST
HT Correspondent

BJP government in Karnataka won the confidence motion by a voice vote amidst dramatic turn of events after 16 rebel legislators were disqualified for anti-party activities - a move dubbed by the opposition parties as a 'ploy to muzzle democracy'.

Governor H R Bharadwaj found the trust vote as improper and is believed to have recommended for imposition of President's rule in Karnataka.

Speaker K G Bopaiah disqualified 16 dissident legislators, including five independent MLAs, under the anti-defection rules, before the house assembled amidst chaotic scenes.

The move had brought down the figure for majority to 105 from 113 as the number of voters reduced from 224 to 208. BJP, which had 117 members, had support of 106 members after the dissidents were disqualified.

The disqualification was challenged by the dissident MLAs in the Karnataka High Court which adjourned the case till Tuesday after initial arguments.

Bopaiah later told reporters, "nobody demanded (division of votes). So where is the question of division of votes. The motion was passed by voice-vote as per rules."

Bharadwaj was reportedly informed by his observers that unauthorized persons including members of Karnataka's legislative council were also present when the confidence motion was moved.

The governor, in his recommendations to the President, also objected to the manner in which 16 legislators were disqualified. He claimed that 120 legislators were against the government.

Bopaiah backed his decision of disqualifying the rebel MLAs, especially the independent legislators, by claiming that precedents were available for the action against them.

"Independents joining any other political party were liable to be disqualified. Independents should remain as independents till his term is over. We have documents provided by independent members (showing that they had aligned with BJP)," he said.

As the House convened in the morning, violent scenes were seen inside and outside the assembly building as the disqualified MLAs barged into the premise after being barred from entering.

The independent legislators broke window panes and attacked the marshals, 16 of whom was injured and rushed to a hospital, Bangalore Police Commissioner Shankar S Bidari, who was also roughed up, later told reporters. A case was registered against the legislators.

The city police was called in by the speaker's office after the situation got out of control.

The dissident MLAs, protesting their disqualification, raised slogans against Bopaiah and Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa. They also broke window panes as the BJP won the trust vote by voice vote.

State JD(S) President H D Kumaraswamy questioned the nature of voting carried out in the Assembly and asserted that the heads should have been counted to prove majority.