The BJP government in Karnataka proved its majority among the legislators present in the House in a fresh motion of confidence on Thursday, the second in four days, garnering 106 votes in its favour and 100 against.
But the government’s future will be charted out on Monday when the Karnataka High Court is expected to decide on the validity of the disqualification of 16 MLAs — 11 from the BJP and five Independents — by the Speaker of the assembly hours before the previous confidence vote on October 11.
The 16 MLAs were not permitted to vote in the two confidence motions.
But a visibly jubilant Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa hailed Thursday’s development as a “victory for democracy”.
The opposition Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress had a combined strength of 101, but only 100 members were present. JD(S) MLA M.C. Ashwath was absent.
BJP MLA Manappa Vajjal also remained absent. His party is contemplating action against him. Vajjal’s absence was compensated by Independent MLA Varthur Prakash voting for the government.
Unlike Monday’s confidence motion that was passed by a voice vote, Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, who had disqualified the rebel MLAs, counted heads to conclude the confidence motion was passed with a majority.
But the opposition was not impressed. “The government will not last long,” said state JD(S) chief H.D. Kumaraswamy. “The court is yet to decide the fate of the disqualified MLAs.”
Yeddyurappa was forced to go in for the second trial of strength after Governor H.R. Bhardwaj rejected the result of Monday’s trust vote as a “farce”.
Speaker Bopaiah initiated the proceedings after rejecting Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah’s plea that the trust vote be postponed in view of the HC hearing on disqualifications.