Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Friday hailed the judicial verdict upholding the disqualification of 11 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators who revolted against him.
"It is a historic decision upholding the values of democracy and a lesson for defectors," he told reporters after Justice V.G. Sabhahit upheld assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah's decision to disqualify the rebels.
Following the revolt by these 11 BJP lawmakers and five independents supporting him, Yeddyurappa's ministry was reduced to a minority in the 225-member assembly that includes one nominated lawmaker.
The BJP had 117 members and the support of five independents in the house.
Yeddyurappa won two trust votes. The first on Oct 11 was marred by bedlam following which another was ordered Oct 14 by Governor H.R. Bhardwaj.
The chief minister won the Oct 14 vote with 106 votes in favour and 100 against.
However that outcome was subject to court's decision on the disqualification of the 11 party rebels, who had by then challenged the speaker's order.
With Sabhahit upholding the disqualification, Yeddyurappa need not seek another trust vote immediately.
However, his 29-month-old ministry still faces uncertainty as the 11 rebels plan to appeal in the Supreme Court. The case of five independents will be taken up for hearing by the high court Nov 2.
Yeddyurappa remained his grim self after the verdict though his party colleagues beamed with elation.
In a brief prepared statement to the media hailing the verdict, the chief minister, known more for his short temper, said the ruling will serve as a model for the country.
"This has increased our responsibility and we will work hard for development of the state," Yeddyurappa said.
He took over as head of BJP's first government in Karnataka and south India in May 2008 and has another two-and-a-half years to complete the five year term.