In a new twist to the political battle in Karnatka, the BJP government will seek a second vote of confidence in the Assembly on Thursday but its result will be subject to the High Court orders on the Speaker's disqualification of 16 MLAs.
The second trial of strength for Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, who won a controversial trust vote on Monday, comes after he accepted Governor H R Bhardwaj's call for a fresh vote on Tuesday.
The first saffron government in the South, which was reduced to a minority after 16 MLAs, including 11 of the BJP, withdrew support, may sail through in tomorrow's vote with the support of about 106 MLAs while the Opposition--JD(S) 73 and Congress 28--has the support of 101 in a House with an effective strength of 208.
One Independent MLA, who was with the Opposition on Monday, could now now be backing BJP, sources in BJP claimed.
But there is uncertainty over the result of tomorrow's vote with the High Court today ordering that "proceedings in the Assembly tomorrow are ordered to be subject to the decision on the writ petitions (against Speaker K G Bopaiah disqualifying 16 MLAs) before the High Court".
The Court had on Tuesday reserved orders in the case relating to 11 BJP MLAs and adjourned proceedings in the case of other 5 Independent MLAs to Oct 18.
Lawyers said that today's court order may mean that if the Court upholds the Speaker's decision on disqualification then the status quo after tomorrow's vote may remain. But if the Speaker's decision is overturned, then it could force another floor test in the Assembly.
The Court, however, today rejected pleas of 5 Independent MLAs to vote in tomorrow's trial of strength. It also rejected their plea for their vote to be kept in sealed covers and be taken up for counting depending on the court's decision on their writ petitions.
"We are satisfied that the ends of justice will be met if the proceedings that will happen Assembly tomorrow are ordered to be subject to the decision on the writ petitions before the High Court," Chief Justice J S Khehar said in his order on an urgent application filed by the 5 Independents.
All the main parties have issued whips to their members for the vote in the Assembly tomorrow. Yesterday while asking for another floor test Governor H R Bhardwaj had said the Monday vote was "farcical" and refused to accept the verdict of the House.
On Monday, the Governor had even recommended imposition of President's rule in the state on the ground that what happened in the Assembly was "unconstitutional".
The BJP accused him of acting as a Congress "agent" and demanded his recall while the Governor attacked the government. Bhardwaj said the proceedings in the House were not in accordance with procedures and the voice vote for a confidence motion "does not mean anything". He said there should be a proper division of votes recorded by the Speaker.
Unruly scenes were witnessed in the House on Monday and the Governor had in his report to the Centre talked about the presence of "outsiders" in the House, which "vitiated" the proceedings.
For the first time in the Assembly city police was called in to ensure order but the Opposition attacked the Speaker on his decision to seek the services of police.