Opposition pinning hopes on court

Numbers at present are not in favour of the Congress-JD(S) combine government

 
 This has been the question in everyone’s mind after Governor H R Bhardwaj, on Monday, recommending to the Centre that the government be dismissed.

Chances of the combined Opposition forming a Government are bleak, if the present party-wise strength in the Assembly is anything to go by. In the 208-member Assembly, the simple majority required to form the Government is 105. The BJP has 105 members (excluding the Speaker), the opposition 101 -- Congress 73, the JD(S) 27 (after Ashwatha left), Independent 1.

The strength of the Assembly came down from 224 (excluding the Speaker) to 208 after Speaker K G Bopaiah disqualified 16 members including five independents on Monday under the Anti-Defection Law, ahead of the confidence motion against the BJP Government.

The disqualified members have challenged the Speaker’s decision in the Karnataka High Court and the Opposition is hopeful that the Court will reject the Speaker’s decision at least with respect to the independents.

However, an attempt by the combined Opposition, the Congress and the JD(S) at power stands a chance if the membership of five independents is restored. In that event, the strength of the House will go up to 213 and simple majority required to form the Government will be 107. And the strength of the two parties plus independents will go up to 106 from the present 101. If Channapattana JD(S) MLA M C Ashwatha, who has defected to help the BJP win the trust vote, returns to the party fold, the tally will reach 107 - the simple majority.Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said the decision to form an alternative Government is left to the party high command, while JD(S) State President H D Kumaraswamy said his party no such intention for now. The JD(S) leader, however, said his party will take a view if the Congress takes a decision to form the Government. 

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