Bengaluru, May 19: All eyes will be on floor test in Karnataka Assembly where BS Yeddyurappa, who was sworn in as Chief Minister, has to take a trust vote. As per the direction of the Supreme Court, the floor test will be held at 4:00 pm today. Ahead of the crucial floor test, which will decide the fate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka, Yeddyurappa expressed confidence that his party will win the floor test with the support of the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular MLAs. Also Read - Former Union Minister Jaswant Singh Passes Away; PM Modi, Rajnath Express Grief
“Of course they are with us if the MLAs from Congress and JD(S) don’t support us, how can we prove majority? We will win the floor test 101 per cent,” Yeddyurappa told news agency ANI. Congress and JD-S MLAs have left for Bengaluru to participate in the floor test in Karnataka Assembly on Saturday evening. BJP legislators have also left Shangri-La Hotel in Bengaluru, where they were staying. As far as the current scenario is concerned, the numbers are stacked against the BJP. Also Read - Bihar Assembly Elections 2020: NDA is One, Will Contest Polls Together, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad
Ahead of the floor test, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala appointed KG Bopaiah, a relatively junior BJP MLA, as the pro-tem Speaker. Bopaiah is to preside over the floor test today to ascertain whether newly-appointed Chief Minister Yeddyurappa enjoys a majority support in the assembly. However, the Congress moved the Supreme Court against Vala’s decision saying that Bopaiah is not the senior-most member in the newly-elected House. Also Read - 'Nothing More Than Desperate Case of Political Compulsion For Badals', Punjab CM on SAD Snapping Ties With BJP
As per the parliamentary convention, it is only the senior-most member in terms of the number of times he has been elected to the Assembly who can be a pro-tem Speaker, the Congress contended. The Application by the Congress has been listed to be heard by a bench of Justice A K Sikri, Justice S A Bobde and Justice Ashok Bhushan at 10:30 am today. The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a floor test in the Karnataka Assembly, drastically slashing the 15-day window given by the Governor to Yeddyurappa to prove majority.
“Let the House decide and the best course would be floor test,” a three-judge bench headed by Justice A K Sikri said, while noting that ultimately the question was about a majority which has to be proved on the floor of the House. The bench, which also comprised Justices S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, turned down Yeddyurappa’s request for a secret ballot during the floor test and also directed the Karnataka government and the Governor not to nominate any MLA from the Anglo-Indian community to participate in the voting to prove majority.
The BJP has emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, followed by the Congress with 78, JD(S) with 37 and three seats have gone to others in the 224-member Assembly where elections were held for 222 seats. The majority mark was 112 seats and the post-poll alliance strength of the Congress-JD(S) combine, which claims to have 117 MLAs and has alleged foul play in the Governor inviting BJP to form the government.
Now the majority mark has gone down by one to 111 as JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy has won from two assembly constituencies of Ramanagaram and Channapatna. However, he will be eligible to cast only one vote during the floor test. The Congress (78 seats) and JD-S (37 seats), along with two independent candidates have formed a post-poll alliance and are staking claim to form the government in Karnataka, with a total of 117 MLAs. (With PTI inputs)