Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa survived a second trial of strength in the state Assembly on Thursday, but the validity of the win will depend on the High Court’s decision on the disqualification of 16 rebel MLAs on October 18.
Facing the second trust vote in four days, Yeddyurappa’s motion expressing confidence in his council of ministers was carried by 106 votes supporting it and 100 against.
With 11 rebels and five Independent MLAs not participating – it was an expected win for Yeddyurappa who needed just 105 votes to win in the House of 208 members. The BJP had the support of 105 MLAs and an Independent MLA, while Congress had 73 and JD(S) 27 in the House.
The JDS boycotted the trust vote. One their MLAs was in the House but abstained from voting. The Congress claimed Thursday’s vote did not reflect a true majority as the disqualification of 16 MLAs by the Speaker was illegal.
The court has reserved its orders on the plea of the BJP MLAs for quashing the Speaker’s orders, while it adjourned hearing on the plea of the Independent MLAs to Monday.
Yeddyurappa was forced to go in for the second trial of strength after Governor H R Bhardwaj rejected the result of the Monday vote as “farce” and gave him another chance on Tuesday, which the BJP accepted.
On Monday evening, Bhardwaj had recommended to the Centre imposition of President’s rule in Karnataka holding that the Constitution machinery had broken down.
The High Court did not provide interim relief to disqualified MLAs and with the number favouring him in the Assembly, Yeddyurappa accepted the Governor’s offer to take the floor test, the second time.
“We are waiting for the High Court verdict which will tell the true picture of the vote of confidence. This is not a true majority,” senior Congress MLA Dinesh Gundurao said.
Bopaiah adjourned the House sine die after conducting the floor test for the second time in a week in which the BJP government won the trust vote by a simple majority of six votes.
Security at the Vidhan Soudha had been tightened ahead of the second trust vote.
“We said we have the majority. We had earlier proved it and once again we did it today,” senior BJP leader Rajeev Pratap Rudy said. “Getting the Independents back is not a point to be talked about now. We still demand that the Governor should be recalled,” he said.
Earlier, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly rejected a plea by Opposition Congress for postponing the session convened to take up the motion of confidence by Yeddyurappa and went ahead with voting on it. Unlike the last time, the division of votes was decided by a head count on Thursday.
“This session has been specifically convened on the direction of the Governor to conduct the trust vote and it cannot be postponed,” Bopaiah declared when opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah demanded postponing of the motion till the High Court pronounced its verdict on a batch of petitions filed by 16 MLAs challenging their disqualification.
Yeddyurappa moved a one-line motion — “This House expresses confidence in the government led by B S Yeddyurappa”.
The Speaker put the motion to vote and all the BJP members supported it by voice vote and Siddaramaiah demanded a division of votes, which was accepted.
The House began head count with the members from the treasury benches.