Karnataka BJP MLAs meet to take key decision

Bengaluru / New Delhi: As the BJP is expected to stake claim to form the next government in Karnataka, its legislature party meeting held in Bengaluru today.

This comes a day after the Congress-JDS government in the State collapsed after it lost the confidence vote, garnering 99 votes against the 105 to the BJP in the assembly, ending the nearly three-week-long high political drama.

“We will have the legislative party meeting today and will wait for the directions from the parliamentary board. It might have come… Next we will stake claim to form the government,” BJP State general secretary C T Ravi said earlier today. The party may approach Governor Vajubhai Vala on Thursday and stake claim to form the government, sources said. It is expected that B S Yeddyurappa would become the next Chief Minister of Karnataka.

A large number of BJP leaders and workers thronged the party office here as the lodestone of power shifted from the coalition partners – Congress and JD(S), to BJP.

“We were all waiting for this glorious moment. The voters had BJP as their first choice. Now that the BJP is set to form the government, there is celebration all over the State,” actor-turned-politician Tara told reporters outside the BJP office. Meanwhile, the rebel MLAs have decided to not return to Bengaluru.

“There are no immediate plans to return to Bengaluru. We will stay here for some more time,” rebel JD(S) MLA from Hunsur A H Vishwanath told PTI. On Tuesday, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy submitted his resignation to the Karnataka Governor shortly after losing the confidence motion in the Assembly, capping an intense power struggle triggered by a raft of resignations by rebel MLAs that pushed the government to the brink of collapse.

In Supreme Court…
Two Karnataka Independent MLAs today urged the Supreme Court to allow them to withdraw their plea seeking its direction to the State assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to conduct ‘forthwith’ floor test on a trust motion moved by the Kumaraswamy government.

The counsel for the lawmakers – R Shankar and and H Nagesh – told a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose that the MLAs wanted to withdraw the petition as the floor test has been conducted in the Karnataka Assembly.

“Where is Mukul Rohatgi (counsel for the lawmakers)? Where is A M Singhvi (counsel for the Speaker)?” the bench said. It said it will pass the order only in the presence of the senior counsel.

On Tuesday, Speaker Kumar had told the court that voting on the trust motion was likely to be concluded by the evening. During voting that evening, the confidence motion moved by Kumaraswamy was defeated with 99 members voting for the motion and 105 against it a House with an effective strength of 205 members.

NT Bureau