Bengaluru, May 18: The Supreme Court on Friday directed that the floor test be held in the Karnataka Assembly at 4 pm on Saturday. The floor test will be held to ascertain the support Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa enjoys in Karnataka Assembly. A floor test is held if there is more than one person/party staking claim to form the government (in this case, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress-Janata Dal-Secular alliance) and the majority is not clear.
In Karnataka elections, the BJP won 104 of the 222 seats, falling eight short of the 112-halfway mark. The Congress bagged 78 seats and the JD-S 37 along with its ally Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The Karnataka Assembly has a total strength of 224. Elections to 2 seats were deferred and voting took place for 222 seats. The total number in the House will go down from 222 to 221 as H D Kumaraswamy, who contested from two seats and won from both, will have to vacate one seat.
Therefore, a party needs to show the support of 111 MLAs at the floor of the House to win the trust vote. Some Congress or JD-S legislators may be absent or choose not to vote, which would bring down the number required to prove majority. If 10 MLAs of the JD-S and Congress remain absent or abstain from voting during the floor test, then the simple majority figure which BJP would require in that scenario would be 106 seats. The BJP has 104 and can bring two independent MLAs in its fold.
Ahead of the crucial floor test, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Friday appointed BJP legislator KG Bopaiah as Karnataka Assembly’s Pro-Tem Speaker. Bopaiah, 62, is a three-time legislator from Virajpet seat in Kodagu region, 260 km from Bengaluru. He was Speaker during the Bharatiya Janata Party rule in the state from 2008-13. Earlier today, the Supreme Court said the pro tem speaker will take decisions in accordance with the law on the issue of floor test in Karnataka Assembly.
The apex court also barred Yeddyurappa from taking any policy decisions till the floor test. BJP legislative party leader Yeddyurappa was on Thursday morning sworn in as the Chief Minister after the May 12 election threw up a hung Assembly.