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Day After Disqualification of Rebel Cong-JD(S) MLAs, Yediyurappa Set for Today’s Floor Test With an Advantage

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Yediyurappa is apparently confident of winning it with the expectation that the rebel Congress and JDS MLAs may abstain as they did on two weeks ago, giving him the edge.

Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP stalwart BS Yediyurappa, who was sworn in as chief minister of the state for a fourth time last week, will move a motion of confidence in the Assembly on Monday to prove his majority.

Yediyurappa took oath as the CM in a twist to the protracted high voltage political drama in the state with a big challenge to manage numbers staring him in the face. However, he will find it easier to sail through because of the Speaker’s disqualification order. But the rebel MLAs, who have lost the membership, may make life difficult for him outside if he does not stand by them.

Ahead of the crucial floor test, the Karnataka BJP held legislative party meeting on Sunday at Bengaluru’s Hotel Chancery Pavilion, where the saffron party legislators will spend the night.

“We discussed Monday’s programme in the Assembly in detail. I’m going to move a confidence motion, afterwards I’ll introduce Finance Bill. I think both Congress and JD(S) are going to support it,” Yediyurappa said after the meeting concluded.

The BJP state unit chief alone took the oath succeeding HD Kumaraswamy three days after the Congress-JDS coalition government crumbled under the weight of a rebellion by a big chunk of its lawmakers, 20 (17 rebels, as also one each legislator from Congress, BSP and Independent) of whom were absent for the voting that led to the defeat of its trust vote by 99-105.

Of the 20, three were disqualified by the Assembly Speaker on Thursday, while all 17 rebel Congress-JDS MLAs were disqualified from the legislature on Sunday.

The 17 lawmakers, who brought down the HD Kumaraswamy government in a dramatic development last week, cannot contest in the by-election during the current term, Kumar said. However, he added that the MLAs could challenge his decision in a court of law.

With the disqualification of 17 rebel MLAs — 14 from the Congress and three from JDS till the end of the current term in 2023, the effective strength of the 224-member assembly excluding the Speaker who has a casting vote in case of a tie, is 207. The magic figure required for majority is 104.

BJP along with the support of one independent has 106 members, Congress 66 (including nominated), JD(S) 34 and one BSP member, who has been expelled by the party for not voting for the Kumaraswamy government during the trust vote on July 23.

Ahead of the trial of strength, a confident Yediyurappa said, “I have not even changed a comma or full stop in finance bill. I will be tabling the bill prepared by the (previous) Congress-JD(S) government.” The finance bill (appropriation bill) needs to be passed “urgently”, as otherwise “we will not be able to draw funds even to pay salaries (of government employees),” he said.

The disqualified MLAs are: Pratap Gowda Patil, B C Patil, Shivram Hebbar, S T Somashekar, Byrati Basavaraj, Anand Singh, Roshan Baig, Munirathna, K Sudhakar and MTB Nagaraj and Shrimant Patil (all Congress).

Other party MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumatalli and Shankar were disqualified on Thursday. JD(S) members who faced action are: Gopalaiah, A H Vishwanath and Narayana Gowda. Disqualified rebel MLAs, many of whom are still holed up in Mumbai fearing poaching from the Congress-JDS, said they will challenge the action against them in the Supreme Court.

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