Rebels spurn CM plea

Rebels spurn CM plea

The ruling party is also planning a deft use of the anti-defection law to keep its government safe. The Speaker is said to have issued show-cause notices to all the rebels, seeking a reply from them in person by 5 pm on Sunday.

Efforts to woo back party rebels, camping at a five-star resort in Goa, by State Tourism Minister Janardhana Reddy and Goa BJP leader Manohar Parrikar, failed as 10 of the 11 rebels refused to return to the BJP fold. So firm the rebels were in their stand that they even dumped one of their leaders, State Excise Minister M P Renukacharya, who harboured second thoughts about withdrawing support to the government.

The rebels then left the resort along with JD(S) leader Zameer Ahmed Khan. A miffed Renukacharya returned to the Yeddyurappa camp, alleging the rebels were kidnapped by JD(S)-backed goons. The rebel MLAs left Goa on Saturday evening for Chennai and may return to Bangalore on Monday.

The ruling party received another setback with two of its MLAs, S K Bellubi and Manappa Vajjal, moving over to the rebel camp. Bellubi had returned to the party only two days ago with the intervention of Janardhana Reddy. With this, the ruling party now has 105 MLAs (including one Anglo-Indian) and the Congress-JD(S) with Independents numbering 106 in the Assembly. Close figures indicate the possibility of a tie, in which case, the Speaker can chip in with his vote.

The ruling party will in all probability implement its strategy to disqualify the rebel MLAs, five Independent MLAs and four MLAs of the opposition parties under the anti-defection law to ensure its victory. Apprehending disqualification, the rebels warned the BJP that the governor may impose President’s rule on the state if they were disqualified. They sent their reply to the show-cause notices issued to them through JD(S) MLC Abdu Azeem, who was, however, told by the Speaker that the MLAs should come in person to give their replies.

As the day of the trust vote nears, the political skies in the State continued to remain overcast with both ruling and the opposition parties heaping blames on each other of indulging in horse trading. Illegal mining money is said to be flowing to win over the MLAs.

BJP State President K S Eshwarappa alleged that JD(S) State president H D Kumaraswamy tried to abstain ruling party MLA Appachu Ranjan from voting on Monday. He released a CD containing audio recording of the conversation allegedly between Kumaraswamy and Ranjan.

The JD(S) leaders publicly said they were doing everything to defeat the BJP during the trust vote. Its MP Cheluvarayaswamy and leader Zameer escorted the rebel BJP MLAs from the resort in Goa to the airport under full media glare. Yeddyurappa, sober after all his temple visits, made a last-ditch attempt to woo the rebels back, saying, “Everybody commits mistakes. I am still ready to hold talks with them (the rebels) and solve all their problems.”

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