He crossed the halfway mark in the House with a strength of only 206 members present, thanks to the voting support of an Independent and a nominated MLA. The combined Opposition got 100 votes, six less than the ruling party.
The BJP’s victory would be subject to the Karnataka High Court ruling on the disqualification of the members by the Speaker. But much to the relief of the Speaker, the five disqualified Independents on Thursday did not barge into the House as they did on October 11 when the chief minister sought a trust vote earlier.
The full strength of the House is 225, including the Speaker. But on complaints by the ruling party, Speaker K G Bopaiah has disqualified 11 BJP MLAs and five Independents. The matter is being heard by the high court. Still, the BJP has silenced the Opposition for the time being through its victory. All 73 Congress members and 27 of the JD (S), one less than its strength, voted against the motion moved by the chief minister.
There were no surprises in the proceedings of the House which lasted 33 minutes as there was no cross-voting by members of any of the three parties.
There were two absentees — Manappa Vajjal of the BJP and M C Ashwatha of the JD (S). Vajjal had identified himself with the JD (S), while the BJP had claimed that it had poached Ashwatha. The Speaker first went for a voice vote and later for a headcount as the Congress pressed for this. When the House assembled at 11:05 am, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah made a vain bid to make the Speaker postpone the seeking of trust vote by the chief minister as the petitions of the disqualified MLAs are pending before the court.
The petitions of the disqualified 16 members, which are being heard by the court itself, have come as a blessing in disguise as the real strength of the three parties is not clear.
The BJP heaved a sigh of relief that it has managed to remain in power for now. The Congress and the JD (S) alleged that seeking trust vote when the matter was pending before the court was “unconstitutional” and the BJP would lose its majority once the verdict comes. BJP members were all smiles and flashed the victory sign. Yeddyurappa asserted that he had created a “history of sorts” by winning the trust vote for a second time in a gap of two days.
In stark contrast to the pandemonium that the House witnessed on Monday, Thursday saw members behaving themselves. Congress leaders first claimed that they would not be attending the House. But later they walked in after signing the attendance register in the lounges. JD (S) members led by H D Revanna too walked in silently. There were no policemen in khaki on the Assembly premises though there were a good number of watch and ward staff. The entire Vidhana Soudha witnessed unprecedented security.
The Speaker looked relaxed and so did the treasury benchers. JD (S) members remained calm. Siddaramaiah and his party colleagues had climbed atop tables to protest against the manner in which the House was conducted last time. On Thursday there was no such hysterical acts.
Yeddyurappa became the chief minister with the support of 110 BJP MLAs and five Independents, who are now disqualified. In order to get the support of a minimum of 113 members to form the government, he managed to win the confidence of six Independents.
At one time, the BJP’s strength had gone up to 123 which has now plummeted to 106. The Speaker later sent the report of the House proceedings to the governor. Yeddyurappa along with some ministers met the governor around noon.