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BJP plans to move confidence motion on Monday, says Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa

Though the BJP was able to topple the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government on Tuesday, it will be in a tricky position as no decision has been taken about most of the rebel MLAs whose resignations triggered the coalition collapse.

india Updated: Jul 27, 2019 08:25 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), B.S. Yediyurappa .
Senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), B.S. Yediyurappa .(AFP)
         

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is gearing up to move a confidence motion at a special assembly session on Monday, chief minister BS Yediyurappa announced on Friday.

Though the BJP was able to topple the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government on Tuesday, it will be in a tricky position as no decision has been taken about most of the rebel MLAs whose resignations triggered the coalition collapse.

At present, the BJP has the backing of its 105 MLAs and one independent MLA, H Nagesh. However, as speaker KR Ramesh Kumar has taken a decision only on three rebels, the House strength is 222. The reduced majority mark of 112 is higher than the BJP’s numbers.

The speaker now has beafore him 13 resignation petitions and 14 disqualification petitions, including that of Congress Shrimanth Patil who hasn’t resigned as MLA but disobeyed the party whip by not attending the floor test.

A senior BJP leader said the rebels would not return for Monday’s floor test. In case they abstain, it would not matter to the BJP even if the speaker does not take action.

If the rebels are disqualified or their resignations accepted or they abstain, the Congress would be reduced to 66, including the nominated MLA but excluding the speaker as he can only vote in case of a tie; the JD(S) will have 34 MLAs.

The fate of the lone Bahujan Samaj Party MLA is unknown, as there was no confirmation from the speaker’s office on whether he had received a letter from BSP supremo Mayawati expelling N Mahesh from the party for not attending the floor test.

Constitutional expert BV Acharya said there was no requirement that the House be at full strength to prove a majority. “What matters is the number of voting members present in the House when the vote is taken up. So, it doesn’t matter if the House strength is reduced.”

Acharya said the Supreme Court’s interim order that the rebels cannot be compelled to attend would not apply to Monday’s special session. “A whip can be issued. However, even if the MLAs attend the session and vote against the whip and in favour of the BJP, the vote will be counted, although they might be disqualified subsequently,” he said.

First Published: Jul 26, 2019 23:53 IST